Giant Backpacks on Little Bodies - Preschool Begins

ALL I DO IS CRY.  I'm really really good at crying. I cry like it's my freaking job.

We had preschool orientation last night.  Because my husband was there, I held it together as we entered the room after weeks of prepping our kids for "school".  While my girl has been really excited about making new friends and keeps reminding her brother that if he gets scared, his sister will be right there with him, my boy has been, let's just say, more apprehensive, as in, "I WANT SCHOOL TO DIE I AM NEVER GOING TO SCHOOL NEVER".  Ahem.  I digress.

As we walked the few blocks to the Chicago Park District building where they will go to preschool, we talked with a couple neighbors (long live the neighborhood!) and told them where we were going.  My boy said, "Mama why do you have to tell everybody we are going to preschool?" in a rather unhappy tone.

We went in and met several other families including one classmate's mom who recognized me from my blog and I decided right then and there that she shall be my crying buddy the first day. ISN'T SHE LUCKY.

We met the teacher and our kids even said hello and weren't "shy" like they told us they would be at first.  We got our calendar of what the weeks and days will consist of - 2 hours a day - Monday through Friday of crafts and themes and just being around other kids and not us all the time and this is when normal people drink, right?  Well, it's no coincidence that all the Halloween candy is on sale right now at back to school time. I've got a lot of feelings to eat!

Our kids played with the other kids and fell in love with their classroom almost immediately.

As we were walking home, that same little boy that didn't want me to tell anybody where we were going an hour earlier said, "I WANT TO TELL EVERYBODY I AM GOING TO PRESCHOOL".  My girl said, "I ALREADY MADE A FRIEND.  I LOVE SCHOOL.  I WANT TO GO BACK NEXT DAY."

We all have nerves.  We all get scared.  It manifests in different ways for little kids than for adults, but feeling scared isn't a bad thing.  It's helping each other walk through it that matters.

I've got the chalkboard signs all ready for Monday.  I found a Groupon that allowed me to get two of these back to school picture signs for the price of one and I WON ALL THE PINTEREST MOM AWARDS THAT DAY.  Because we all know I'm not that mom most days.  Most days I'm the - ugly crying with gratitude, then yelling and regretting it so then apologizing and snuggling them even more, then laughing my head off at something they're doing because they're hilarious and awesome, but just go to sleep already and then when they go to sleep I miss them and keep talking about how sweet they are - mom.

Man.  This parenting stuff is not for the faint of feeling.  My poor heart isn't strong enough for all this.  I hear it gets easier the older they get to let them spread their wings and fly to school.  Roots and wings.  For now, we keep planting their roots and ecouraging their little wings sprout.  Like their giant backpacks on little bodies, their wings aren't fully developed yet. They aren't nearly ready for flight. They will get fuller with each passing year, should we be so fortunate.

For now, their "healthy snack", water bottle and one folder for crafts is what they carry.  And probably one special toy and lambies.  Because we all need to carry some comfort around.  May all our backpacks be full of comfort and grace.

As we were tucking into beds last night, and I reminded them as I do each night that they are funny smart clever and kind, ("but kind is the most important, mama!") my boy said, "Mama we didn't do thankful books!"
"What are you thankful for today, Bub.  I'll write it for you."
"I'm thankful for school."

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And so it begins on Monday.  Wings sprouting, roots growing deeper, mom eating all the candy.

See also:

From homelessness to parenthood - If this backpack could talk

When they go low, we go high - thank you Michelle Obama for helping me parent my kids with hope and kindness

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