As we get into our stride of the school year, I hope that this year is meeting and exceeding all expectations while not exhausting parents too much. This is my very first time experiencing the back to school experience as my 3-year old daughter Weslie ventured to preschool. Although I felt that I was prepared and we researched schools for years, nothing quite got me ready for her to walk through those doors on her first day of school.
Weslie doesn’t lack confidence, however, I felt this may be a challenge for her for several reasons.
- She has been with her sitter since she was 10 weeks old, and I thought that she would miss her terribly.
- She was leaving her brother, although not a huge deal, they are only 15 months apart and they are rarely not with each other. Would she be sad without him and would he be sad without her?
- Although I consider her congenial, would other people consider her congenial…. would she be too much, was I overthinking this?
For days leading up to her first day, I had anxiety (wasn’t I supposed to be enjoying this). What would she wear, what would her first-day picture look like, would she be so nervous? The day came and Weslie was more than ready, she woke up early, abruptly got her clothes on, let me comb her hair and while I was combing her hair I began to cry. She looked up at me and said: “Mommy, I will be okay, don’t cry.” Let the record show that I was not sad because Weslie was going to school or because she is getting older, but instead I was reflective. This is just the beginning of her academic career. It is the beginning of excitement, new adventures, new friends and enthusiasm. However, it is also the beginning of heartbreaks, challenges and disappointments. This made it official that Weslie, my sweet baby girl was getting older and I was not at all prepared, the time had gone much too fast. In short, I gained comfort from watching her walk confidently into her school on the first day, she was ready.
I realize that I am not the only parent sending their daughter to preschool. However, in these crazy times, sending your child to school brings on a different kind of anxiety. As the years progress, I am sure that I will feel the same way every year as she goes to different grades. However, as a parent, the best I can do is get her ready. Weslie is ready for the world, or as ready as a preschooler could be, I just hope that the world is ready for Weslie.