Tomorrow you start TK. I’m going to leave this here to let that sink in.
The transition started last Thursday when I picked you up from camp. That was the last day I would walk into a pre-school to pick you up. That was the day it started to feel real. No longer am I going to get photos of you throughout the day. Now the teacher to student ratio is up, the independence bar is raised and the daily routine – god, don’t get me started on the ROUTINE – of the day is much more strict. I did what most Type A, highly organized, pro-planners would do. I panicked.
I took Friday off. Summer flew by and now here we were, left with a few days before school starts and we have an “absence count”. We went to your school orientation in the morning. I was fully prepared for you to be scared, nervous, anxious, etc. You weren’t. You were beyond excited. “Look how big this school is mommy!” “Everyone here is so big mommy!” “Yay, I see some of my friends mommy!” Then there was me. I was crying at the “Par” in the Principal’s intro – “Welcome to TK/Kinder Orientations Parents!” I wasn’t sobbing, don’t worry, just tearing…a few escaped my eye. We walked around the school and found out your room assignment.
Then we had our Friday together. We picked up a happy meal and went to the beach. Just us. A mommy-Dylan day. A perfect day. You wanted me to jump and kick waves with you. No problem love. We saw 3 dolphins. You named them Hayley, Poop and…I forget the name of the 3rd. Hard to remember after Dolphin #2. There was no sitting. Only playing – your rules, your way – the perfect day. We went from the beach to go pick up Mia from camp. You walked in very tall – you were proud to be the “big kid” going to the “big school” coming back (to the school that only a day ago you attended) to pick up your little sister. We went to go get ice cream. You told Mia about your school and how your friend has a sister just like you. We walked down the shopping center and you asked if we could go to Alessios for pasta. It’s our weekly go-to restaurant and you wanted to tell Alex, our waiter, about your day. After your $18 plain pasta with parmesan cheese (I wish I was kidding) we headed home. We watched a movie cuddled up on the couch – you next to me and Mia on daddy. You asked if we could watch another show. I would normally say no but I didn’t want the day to end anymore than you did. So we watched some PJ Mask shows and then went up for storytime.
From that point on, the whole weekend was filled with little reminders that you are getting older. We went to a birthday party and you ran to me sad saying a girl told you to “shut up.” I asked if you told her that you don’t like being talked to like that and you hadn’t. You ran to mommy, your safety. And trust me, I wanted to tell that girl a few things myself. I wanted to jump in and solve the problem. But I can’t. I won’t be there every time a kid says something to you. It’s not fair to you for me to step in each time and handle it. So instead of me marching over to the little mouthy brat, I asked you to go tell her and that if she still doesn’t listen, to tell mommy or an adult. You did just that. We went to your TK/Kinder picnic and got to chat more with your teacher. you seemed a little nervous this time around, another sign that this is getting real. You seemed much better once the fire truck arrived. Another sign, this time for mommy, that you’ll be okay.
Now tomorrow, you start. You’ve already picked out the shirt you want to wear and have picked out what you want in your lunch. The school is having a “boo hoo, woo hoo breakfast” for parents after drop-off. I think i’m going to go around the corner to look for the “sobbing uncontrollably but so happy for you” brunch. Might be more my speed…