Monday, August 8, 2011

It's Too Soon for Mama!

Marley had her first day of preschool today,
Monday, August 8, 2011.
It's too soon for me.
Life has thrown so many changes our way in the last year, and I thought that this would be just one more that I would put my head down and barrel through.  Like an ox.  But today caught me by surprise, both in good ways and rough ones.

For the past week, we've been making all of the preparations for going to preschool that my teacher's mind knows we should do.  We visited last week and met her teacher and had a look around.  We picked a few things about her new school that seemed especially exciting (think "trampoline" and "playhouse") and talked about them over and over.  We went shopping for a backpack, lunch pail, and thermos.  I have to admit, that was the really fun part!  Marley picked out her backpack all by awesome pink camo one.  I think her Daddy's genetics must be coming through! 
Last night we laid out her school clothes, picked out what she wanted for lunch, and *tried*  to go to bed early.  The bedtime didn't pan out too well, but that's a different story. 

Up until this morning, I was doing just fine.  I got up before her and put her lunch together.  Then I woke a very sleepy little girl up with all the excitement I could muster early in the morning.  Our friend Danny came over after working the night shift at his job and joined us for her first official day of school.  He has known Jim since they were kids, stood in our wedding, and has been very important to both of us since Jim passed.  Marley had some breakfast, got dressed, and we did her hair.  Before we knew it, it was time to go!  Things went off without a hitch. 

Then I took this picture...
...and reality came crashing in.

My baby isn't a baby anymore. 
She's a beautiful little three-year-old girl who was bubbling over with excitement about
leaving her Mama and going to school!!! 
Of course, I had expected this day to be bittersweet.  If you know Marley, you know she is a VERY busy girl.  She is a ball of perpetual motion, and her mouth chats from the second she wakes up until she falls asleep at night (and often in her sleep!).  I'm not going to lie- part of me really needs a break!  But when I asked her to stand for the obligatory first day photo, my mind went back to those pictures that my parents took of me when I was a kindergartener.  And to Jim's wish to take her to her first day of school.  And to the fact that I was so sad that he's not here to take her, but so glad that Danny was willing to stand in his place for him. 
So off we went.
Now, Marley's been in daycare off and on since she was 10 weeks old.  That part in itself was not what pulled on my heartstrings.  What got me was that the old cliche is true- time truly does fly.  If you'd have told me when this precious thing was born that I'd be in a different state from her birthplace, unemployed (oops... I spilled the beans!), and living in an apartment without her Daddy, I'd have kicked you out of my hospital room.  So much has changed in her short three years. 
And yet she was SO EXCITED!
I mean, look at her again... she's ready!  So I guess I'd better be too.

Dropping her off went about how I expected.  She put her things away and ran right to the indoor playhouse.  We chatted with her teacher for a few minutes.  There was lots of hugs and kisses and "Have a great time!".  When it was time for us to leave her there, she got a little apprehensive and kept asking us to stay but didn't protest when a helper took her hand to distract her while we quietly slipped out the door.
My thoughts must have shown on my face, because Danny quietly said,
"She'll be OK, Megan.  Every kid does this to their parents at first  She'll be all settled in by the time you pick her up this afternoon.  My kids did the same thing.  Come on, let's go." 
 I wasn't used to this feeling.  I'm usually the teacher who encourages the young one to say goodbye with a smile and a wave.  I'm not accustomed to being the one who has to FORCE myself to leave my baby with strangers.  I hope she didn't notice the battle raging inside me.  I don't think she did.  This is good for her, and neccessary in order for me to do the things I need to do in order to take the next step in our new lives (more later). 
But it sure was hard!
I went home and took a shower and a nap and thought about her all day long.  But it was a quiet day, and I haven't had one of those in a long time. 
Tomorrow won't be so quiet for me- life moves on at its busy pace.  But today was nice. 

I went to pick her up this afternoon and she was all smiles.  I wanted to run to her and grab her up in a big hug, but she was too busy working with her teacher to do much more than give me a smile and a wave.  I almost had to drag her out of there.  She can't wait till tomorrow.  It'll get easier, right? 
My baby isn't a baby anymore.
But I'm so proud to be her Mama!


  1. I'm so proud to be your friend, Megan! I love reading your stories (even if I _do_ end up in tears half the time)!

    I'm looking forward to hearing about your first day of school, too. :-)

  2. You are a great Mama raising a great daughter. So many changes. I'm glad these next few are bring joy and fullness to your lives. Love you!!!

  3. Yes, it will get easier. It's wied being on the flip side, isn't it? And she'll always be your baby! As sad as it is to leave that part behind, there are so many fun things about them getting bigger too! I'm proud of you, Meg and I know Jim is too. Love you--Jen

  4. I am scared out of my mind about Landon going to preschool. It's like you muster up all of these fears for them. Something tells me that he'll be fine, but I'm not. I wish that he would start school before me so I could sit home and cry it out. But life will have to go on and I will be doing the same thing Landon's teacher has to do, detaching children from their mammas. Except this time I'm going to be feeling the same thing they are. I'm so glad Marley had a great day. I knew it was going to be a tough one for you. Three years old, that's still a baby in my book. They have only been alive for three years! I love you and pray the culmination building up from this year gets easier in time. I thank God everyday that you are a child in Christ. He will hold you up. After all, He decided you should be human with a will and emotions, not an ox with it's head down. You are a tough cookie! Keep going, you can do it.
    Good job Marley on your first day. You are so brave. I'm glad you had a lot of fun. You are one of the smartest three year olds I have ever met and I know you will knock their socks off!

  5. Will you hold me as I weep during my kiddo's first day at school?!? I have no idea how you survived that... just look at your tiny little smiling brave girl!

    I think so much of parenting is letting go. And gosh, I got all weepy reading this.

    Way to go Mom and Brave Girl!


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