I walked through the glass doors and
tried desperately to figure out where to go. The hallway was
crowded with people eager to catch up with old friends after the
long summer break. There were the popular girls who knew everyone,
and they flitted about as though they owned the place. Then there
were the kind teachers who smiled at me encouragingly, sensing my
I worried I would not fit in. I even
considered leaving. But something stopped me. After all, what kind
of mother ditches her son's first day of preschool?
I looked down at my oldest child,
Daniel. He was 3 and clinging tightly to my sweaty palm.
I could not fail him.
We eventually located his classroom
and the staff invited us to sit amongst a circle of kids and moms.
I was eight months pregnant at the time and definitely not the most
graceful of gazelles. I plopped down with a loud "oomph"
as Daniel climbed into what was once my lap.
Unfortunately, he sat directly on his unborn brother's
Poor Joey has gotten rather
accustomed to that over the years.
As the weeks passed, it all became
routine. I learned the tricks of the parking lot, studied the faces
of the teachers, and gained access to that most coveted group of
Ones with diaper coupons and free
The weeks turned into years, and
before I knew what was happening, I was picking up my youngest
child on his last day of preschool. How could I ever say goodbye to
this most magical of places? I was saddened over the realization
that I would never again march through those glass doors with the
same sense of belonging, the same sense of community.
This school, these teachers, made
such a difference in our lives. I cannot begin to share the worries
and concerns I had back in the beginning. Yet with each passing
year and each child, I learned I did not suck. I was doing OK. And
most importantly, my kids flourished under the devoted and loving
care of the teachers, therapists and staff.
I will miss terribly the days when
my sons sought comfort simply by holding my hand. They are too big
now to fit comfortably in my lap. "Mommy" has been replaced with the more formal, grammar school
I will never again have a
But I will always have that
preschool. And for that, I am so grateful.
Dedicated to Miss Kathy, Miss
Lisa, Miss Rose, Miss Kate, Miss Colleen, Mr. David and the entire
staff of The Barbara Vick Early Childhood Center.
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.
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