Sunday, August 29, 2010

Pre School

My older son did not attend pre-school.  He had 'school' at the home day care he attended. The baby, my baby, of necessity, will start preschool at the ripe old age of three tomorrow morning.  Both kids will be in school for the first time in my mothering life.

They have been in the care of other people from 10 weeks and 6 months each.  Leaving them with someone else while I go off to do something or other isn't new. 

There is a finality to school.  It's a sort of 'parking in place'.  It's a milestone.  It's the place where one looks back and says, "Something started there."

I don't go to or raise my kids in a church with any special ceremonies or sacrements to mark growing older.  I miss the idea that when you do a particular 'something' you are somehow more mature.  I remember never feeling more beautiful or grown-uppy than in the splendor of my first holy communion dress and veil.  I remember the confirmation retreat where I received a letter from my mother sharing all her hopes and dreams for me.  These rites of passage marked a place in my faith, my soul and my life.

My kids don't have those.  School is the only thing marking the passage of time.   

Tomorrow, they will both be big boys with backpacks going off to conquer brand new worlds.  Worlds without me in them.

I want to mark the day, somehow.  Maybe we'll go to Chuck E. Cheese and earn more meaningless crap for the toy bins.  Maybe we'll eat breakfast for dinner.  Or maybe I'll write a blog and print it in a book for them to read someday.

There was once a famous book called, Everything I Ever Learned I Learned In Kindergarten.  Here's my short list to share with my two educationally bound little fellas.

Everything I Ever Learned Began in First Grade and Pre-School
A List Dedicated to My Ian and My Caden-The Coolest, Smartest, Funniest, Awesomest Kids I Know

1.  Painting and art time is cool.  It lets you know creativity, in any form, is messy and always best done in an old, comfy shirt.
2.  The best thing to learn first is that you will always have something else to learn.
3.  Other people's lunches always taste better (unless it's that kid whose mother wears birkenstocks and recycles...I'm pretty sure his won't taste as good).
4.  Color your papers the way you want to, it's one of the few times when you get to color your world.  In the future, other things will color your world-jobs, faith, money, people's expectations.
5.  Friends come and go, but mommy's will never leave.
6.  The glue smells yummy but tastes awful.
7.  If someone calls you a name, it's only because they feel that way about themselves.
8.  Remember to hug your mom when you get home, because she missed you more than you will ever know.
9.  School is now your job.  Do your best and you'll be rewarded.  Do it not so good and you'll stay until you do your best-because I said so and because I'm the mom and I have already been through it.
10.  Remember, school is only a part of your life, it is not your life.  God, family, school-in that order.
And finally, know you are loved, cherished and enjoyed by Mommy, Daddy, Father God and all those whose hearts you have captured.

Happy first day baby Caden.  Happy first grade Ian.

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