So, Sam started preschool yesterday at a church in our county. He will be going on Tuesdays from 9 - 1 and on Thursdays from 9 - 12 from now until May. His teacher's name is Mrs. Smith, and there are four other two-year olds (two boys and two girls) in his class.
Honestly, I wasn't nervous leading up to his first day. This summer has been such a big growth time for Sam - he is finally talking and communicating lots more, and I can just tell every day that his world is getting bigger and bigger. It has been fun to see his little personality develop and how active and outgoing he is by nature. He is absolutely ready to start preschool, make new friends, and learn from his peers and the experiences his teacher can give him. This totally felt right.
Of course, on Monday night, some of my old insecurities started creeping in. To be honest, it is easy to convince yourself you are doing a pretty good job parenting when you (plus grandparents and other unabashedly bias people) are the only ones around your child. Would he be nice to the other kids? Would he be able to communicate with them? What would his teacher think about the huge bruises on his head? Would he be the only one not potty training? Not speaking in sentences? Would the other moms judge me because I was clearly coming from work and Sam's babysitter would be picking him up every day?
|Sam's adorable school bus t-shirt is from Lil Sweet Designs.|
But, just as I knew they would, my fears were quickly eased when I watched my little guy (who was, literally, a BABY last week) march into his classroom carrying his precious little book bag (which, for the record, contained only one diaper and a small pack of wipes - what exactly do toddlers take to school? Binders?) and said "Hi" loudly. Then, he immediately took to the train table and barely looked back at me.
(As you know, Sam has been staying with a sitter either at our house or someone else's house most days since he was about three months old. He is the only kid in the church nursery that doesn't even look up when I kiss him goodbye before heading back to the service. Sometimes, I wonder if this makes me seem like a terrible mom that her kid can't wait to get away from; but, mostly, I'm proud.)
Another little boy came covered in band-aids from mosquito bites.
One came with his grandma and his mom showed up a few minutes late wearing scrubs.
Hardly anyone spoke more than a few words, and one little girl didn't even speak English.
Oh right... We're all in this together.
Probably other than the first three months of his life, these last three have brought the most growth and change in Sam. In a span of just one month, his language has taken off, he's given up the pacifier, we've started using the potty, he got his first hair cut, and now... he starts school.
I LOVE it. We are in a good place right now, and things are feeling more and more comfortable in our little home every day. (Scary, I know.)
Yes, we have tantrums that end up with both of us crying in our rooms sometimes, and days that feel like I will never relax again; but, ultimately, I am able to get to that sweet spot of confidence and peace that I am doing a good job much faster than I did at the beginning.
These days, it doesn't take much more than a big smile, or a drawn out "maaamaaa" (as he is in the habit of saying), or a tight hug around the neck, to remind me that I've got this. Sam isn't the only one doing the growing around here...