I walked out to the car, my mind buzzing with a thousand things I needed to get done. Groceries…class prep…overdue writing assignments…my jam-packed inbox. Clicking my seatbelt, I went to turn the key in the ignition and stopped cold in my tracks. I felt like I was forgetting something…so I thought back through my morning…
Fiona had woken up early to get ready for her first day of preschool. She picked out one of her new favorite dresses and put on her new pink sparkly backpack, ready to hit the day. (The kid has quite the smile…)
When we arrived at school, we were able to spend the first half an hour of class together, doing things like furiously scribbling purple and blue crayon all over her picture, filling out her little “about me” form, and helping her find the sleeves of her jacket before she headed out for recess.
After she went out to play, I stopped in the gym for a donut, chatting with a few parents and then peeking out the window to see if she was playing with any other kids before I left. It seemed like an absolutely normal morning…and then I realized what was missing.
I wasn’t sad, I wasn’t emotional, I wasn’t traumatized…and I wasn’t crying. What was going on?
People had always said to me that the youngest kid always gets the least amount of “paranoid parent worry”, and they are probably right. I worry less about “things” with Fiona, not only because we’ve “been there, done that”, but because she is absolutely fearless. She walked into the preschool room like she owned the place, and wanted to start playing almost immediately. It made it so much easier to leave knowing that she felt safe and comfortable being there.
I am sure it helps that her best friend is in her class…
But I still felt weird, and a little bit guilty. Shouldn’t I be sad about leaving her for a couple of hours, and weepy about the time she would be away? I sat there thinking about it, almost willing the tears to come, but there just weren’t any. Instead, I felt proud of her for being such a grownup girl, excited for her to have the chance to experience a classroom, and honestly, thrilled to have a couple hours (to myself) to get a few things done.
I came back (running late, of course) to find my girl smiling, full of stories from the morning, and ready to hit up Wendy’s with Georgia. They regaled us with a stunning performance of “Slippery Fish” in the middle of the restaurant, complete with the “humongous whale” burping.
Now that? That made me want to tear up more than anything…to see her so happy, from her ponytailed head to her silver-shoed toes….to her brand-new Where’s Waldo glasses.
Those are the best kind of tears.