Preschool Thoughts

Leading up to the first day.. 

Where in the world has the last 4 years gone? Leading up to the start of the school year I had major anxiety. I over thought and processed every little detail, the thoughts of Hadley in school kept me up at night. 

Would her teachers like her? Would the other kids like her? Would she keep her shoes on the whole time? Would she know how to ask for help? Would she be able to open everything in her lunch? Would she freak out if she got her clothes dirty? Would she be kind to others? Have we done enough to prepare her for this? Will she like it?

So many thoughts. So many questions and uncertainty. I don't think Hadley is sheltered, I think she is pretty independent and well-rounded, but she is our first child, so I think it's completely natural to wonder and worry about new experiences as she gets older. The questions were about her.. but most of them circled back to me, analyzing what all I have done as her mother. For years I have said the best compliment someone can give me is complimenting my child. I want to be the best, for her. I want to teach her, prepare her, love her, and set up her up for success in anyway that I can. And in a selfish way, I want to know that I've done enough too.

As the time drew nearer, Hadley grew more excited. She asked daily if it was time to go to preschool yet. We attended parent night and tears welled up in my eyes as excitement and nerves ran through my body. I signed up for every possible volunteer opportunity. Kory laughed at me as I even put my name on the substitute teacher list (LOL, what was I thinking??). A few days later we went to the ice cream social. That morning Hadley woke up saying, "is it time to meet my teachers yet?" She's a caring little girl with a big heart. She loves new adventure but doesn't like trying new foods. She's a natural caretaker, wanting to care for others and babies. She can be shy for the first 30 seconds and then she'll talk your ear off. She's funny, she's a collector and would save pieces of lint if I let her. I could go on and on about her, because to me she is so wonderfully crafted by God, perfect in his eyes (and mine, for now). Some of these things I wrote in her packet, when they asked what was her personality like, what soothes her, what are her best characteristics, etc. Even filling that out made me cry.

F I R S T    D A Y !

Three days later it was the big day! I had the hardest time falling asleep the night before, it was almost like Christmas Eve minus the gifts. Hadley ate breakfast and I let her pick out her clothes, she picked a pink dress... surprise, surprise? We took photos on the front porch and she screamed out in giddiness, she was READY! Kory was able to go with us to the school, but we drove separately as he had to go right to work (it was actually his busiest day of the year). On the way there we prayed, and I reminded Hadley to be kind to others, to share, and to have fun! She said, "I know, Mom!" 

We walked her in, hand in hand, and she reminded us where her hook was. We walked to her classroom where her eyes lit up with wonder. We walked around with her, and she ran straight to the reading corner. She was rolling around on the rug and fluffy pillows in no time, and we were laughing hysterically. We pointed out where the bathroom was, and reminded her to just ask her teachers if she needed anything. We hung around for a few minutes, I watched as other children cried and clung to their parents legs (Michelle, I heart you!) and my heartstrings were pulled. Gosh that can't be easy for anyone, and I give major kudos to the parents who have to walk away while their child is upset, YOU are strong. 

Home girl didn't seem phased at all about us leaving and somehow, I felt good and completely heartbroken at the same time. Part of me wanted to know she still needed me, and the other part of me was so absolutely proud of her confidence. We said good-bye and walked out the door, and one of Hadley's teacher's handed us a little ziplock bag. We walked down the hallway and I threw my sunglasses on, Kory read the baggy and the tears came. 

It's funny how quickly my feelings changed. I sat in the car for probably 5 minutes looking through photos, wondering if I should just sit in the parking lot for the next two and half hours (joking, of course). The first day was a short one, not the usual 4 hours. However, the tears stopped and I drove away and within 10 minutes, I felt this weird sense of freedom. Am I awful for saying that? I still had Rowen in the car but I felt good! Like huh, I can do this and I can ENJOY it! It was so strange and kind of funny. I knew school would be good for her, she's at an age where structure and activities will be rewarding. What I didn't realize is that it would be good for me too!

When I picked her up she kind of looked like she was in a daze, and then quickly began yelling, "Mama, Mama!" We drove home and I asked her 20 questions. When I asked her what her favorite part of the day was she replied, "my favorite part is when you come to get me!" Which made me cry again haha. Despite that comment, she loved pouring her own water at snack time, singing frozen on the stage outside, and playing with her new friends.

Hadley's first full day (9am-1pm) went smoothly. The night before I had her practice opening her lunch box and the tupperware inside. I have become that Mom, and I'm not even ashamed to say it. I thought she would be exhuasted when I picked her up. I thought wrong! She was so lively & goofy. With the time she was at school I ran a couple errands and knocked out my to-do list for the day. Cleaned out the garage... now both cars fit! Did the dishes, some laundry, normal picking up, and watched my robotic vaccum clean the floors for me while I made & devoured nachos. It was a good morning and a great afternoon. I felt like I really got to enjoy my time with Hadley in the afternoon because house work was done! I'm not saying every room was cleaned or all the laundry was done, but for that day it was enough. I think preschool is going to give me a new sense of balance that I didn't know I was missing. Is that strange? 

A Week In

It's been a week now and Hadley's has had one half day and two full days. I think she wishes she could go to school everyday, she loves it that much! On the third day she was chosen to be the class helper for the day, she was so excited to tell Kory & I about ringing the bell, feeding the fish, sitting on the yellow star, and more. We are so excited to watch her grow this year with the help of her amazing teachers. She is so special to us and we know that God has amazing things in store for her! Now if I could just figure out what to do with Rowen during the 8 hours a week Hadley is gone.. 🙉 Ro, where's Hadley at? She grabbed Toffee (the dog that Hadley sleeps with EVERY night) and went to the door! 

Hadley's Thoughts + Photos from her teachers!

"Well I would say, I'm ah prised (surprised) to see my teachers. I would say that. Well, you know what I love in preschool, I love the pillows! They are soft in there. Know what my favorite part is? When you come to get me!"

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