Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Starting Preschool

Today Jack started preschool, the first of many first days of school he will face over the next two decades. I would love to tell you all how I searched for months and applied to fifteen different preschools determined to find THE perfect one to prepare my precious boy for Harvard, but seriously people this is me we are talking about. The truth is I visited and applied to exactly one preschool, a little two-room schoolhouse in our town. Truth be told I think I mostly liked the way the school looked and just got lucky that it has a good reputation and nice teachers.

Our first experience with Jack's new peers was a few weeks ago at the Popsicle Social. This annual event is held at a local park and all the students and parents are invited to meet the teachers and eat a popsicle. As we walked from the car to the park with Grace on my hip and Jack holding my hand, Jack looked up at me and said, "I am a little scared." I looked down and answered, "me too buddy, new things are sometimes scary." I have always hated when people say, "there is no reason to be scared." As a matter of fact I usually try and validate our kids's feelings because telling them not to feel a certain way doesn't make the feeling go away it just makes them believe their feeling is wrong.

My first thought upon arriving was that I was definitely in the wrong school. Jack, Grace and I showed up for the 5:00 p.m. gathering dressed in the clothes we had worn all day, shorts and t-shirts. Christian did not join us because he had to work that day and I didn't think dads would leave work just to go to the popsicle social. Well people, I was wrong on all counts. Dads were there, thankfully Jack didn't seem to notice, and everyone was dressed like it was picture day. It didn't occur to me that the mom dress code for a hot July afternoon at the park would be skinny jeans and wedges. I was having serious regrets about private preschool.

Those regrets only lasted until orientation. Last week we attended orientation with Jack's teachers and just his classmates. The moms seemed normal, not dressed like we were going to the club. He loved his classroom and I felt much better about allowing my kid to be influenced by these adults and children without my supervision.

This morning I made Jack "sugary goodness" a.k.a. french toast with butter and powered sugar on top for his special first day of school breakfast. He dressed in his new "working shirt" a.k.a. button-up shirt like daddy wears to work. And thank the lord he pooped before we left the house so he wouldn't have to do it at school.

While driving Jack to school I asked him if he was scared today and he said no. I love that he is excited for school. No tears were shed as Grace and I walked away at drop-off. He is ready for school even if I am not.

After school Jack was excited to show his craft for the day, a teddy bear mask made with a paper plate and construction paper. He got to glue and that was fun stuff. He also got to play with the big fire engine and the dinosaurs. My little guy is growing up and while I am sad the time is passing by too quickly, I am also happy to watch him on this new adventure.

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