Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The first day

I've known this day was coming for a long, long time. I didn't think I would be the crying type. I am thrilled for Madelyn to go to school not only for the valuable experiences she will draw, but also for the break it provides for myself!

For several weeks we have been preparing Madelyn with the concept that she will have to go to school all by herself. We practiced giving hugs and saying, "Bye-bye Mommy and Daddy!" I predicted that it wouldn't be quite that simple, but I wasn't entirely ready for her to lock her arms around my neck when she realized we were abandoning her at the doorway of a strange room full of strange people. Her cries of despair made me weep in empathy.

I appreciate the Montessori School's administrator, Kathi, for having the calm ability to firmly but tenderly pick Madelyn up and carry her into the classroom so she wouldn't witness my lapse in composure.

I know that Madelyn is ready to experience learning in a whole new way. She is ready to interact with friends and have the opportunity to respect caregivers other than her parents. I know that it will not be long before she truly loves going to school.

Walking back to the car, wiping tears, I realized I still had Madelyn's jacket in my hand. I wanted to give it to someone so that we wouldn't be judged for sending our child to school without a coat. The classroom door was closed and I could hear Mr. Tarnowski already addressing the children, only two of whom were crying. One was undeniably Madelyn.

"Our classroom is a happy place." A gentle, caring voice.

Today was an emotional day. A brand new world for Madelyn's inexperienced little self. For me, the transition from baby to child became very poignant, as I realized that Madelyn's journey into her education has now officially and irreversibly begun. It's just primary school, but from now on we will be at the mercy of school schedules and backpacks and eventually homework and grades. It is a pretty big milestone, and I guess I hadn't fully recognized all of its implications.


Bridget said...

Miriam starts preschool tomorrow!!!! I am so excited. We'll see if I cry, too. Thanks for this account.

Anonymous said...

It really is a very tangible milestone...the beginning of the next life chapter for both of you.

Annie said...

Ahh! It's okay Mommy. I'm sure she had a wonderful day and just think of all the new and exciting things she'll have to share with you. What an exciting time for both of you!


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