Nobody should be surprised to hear that I was pretty emotional, especially the night before, thinking about sending Simon to preschool. While I know perfectly well that this new season will be good (even great) for all of us, it’s bittersweet. Mainly, I’m really proud of my big kid—I love to think about all he will learn, who he will meet, what fun he will have, what challenges he will have, and on and on. But, oh, I miss him too. He’s been my near-constant companion for close to four years. I wonder, as I suppose all parents must, what he will be like. Will he listen to his teachers? Will they see what a great kid he is? Will he be kind to others? Will he be shy or outgoing? Will he freak out and strip down if he gets his shirt/pants/shoes wet or muddy? Will he be “that kid” (fill in any number of ways to be “that kid” for better or for worse)?
Simon had his own hopes and concerns. He was really excited about his new school shoes—ones he can get dirty. He asked over and over again if Mommy and Daddy or Ian were going to stay with him and what we would be doing while he was at school.
When I asked Simon if I could get a picture of him in his backpack, he took me quite literally:
One of my favorite parts of the morning was finding messages on the sidewalk (thank you, dear friend). Simon was absolutely delighted and said with the sweetest sincerity, “Oh! What a surprise!” Precious.
He seems so little and so big all at the same time.
The Drop Off:
We found the special hook for his backpack and then Simon jumped right in and started playing with the puzzles. I think Ian was planning on staying too.
In all the bustle of the first day (cameras everywhere!), Simon had only one request: “My mommy and daddy, will you stay until River gets here?” I am so thankful that he has a little buddy in his class—I didn’t even know what a blessing that would be. And in the end I did it! I made it without crying. . . . Well, okay, I did cry a little, but not in front of him.
One of the things I have been looking forward to the most is getting to spend some one-on-one time with Ian. I am not putting any pressure on myself to get anything done during the two and a half hours—and a good thing too because time flies!
Today we went to the zoo, and I had a really good time going at toddler pace. Ian is far more interested in the animals than Simon ever has been (with Simon we mostly dig in the sand and play on the giant dirt mounds). He spent most of the time actually finding the animals in their displays and then pointing them out to me.
One of the things that I loved most about the zoo from Ian’s perspective is that he was equally excited about the leopard and the black bird that landed on top of its cage—the squirrels are just as interesting to him as the wallaby. He does seem to have a soft spot for the otter, though. We said “hi” to him at least fifty times, no exaggeration.
At the zoo we ran into a friend who also has a boy in preschool this year. She warned me not to be too disappointed if I didn’t get much of a report out of Simon. I kind of suspected that I wouldn’t but hoped for the best anyway. No luck.
Details (if you can call them that) have come out slowly throughout the day, but he was pretty reticent when I first picked him up. When I asked him if he wanted to go back, though, he said, “Yeah. I think so. Sometime.” It’s a start.
A few more pics of the day’s adventures here.