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First Day

Dear Big Bad World,

I'm sending you my Mia today, my Bean, my baby. Yes, it is only a couple of hours at a six-class preschool that, if the trees were down and I stood on the roof, I could see from my house, but it is also the first of many steps she will take away from me into a place where I cannot follow. Where I will have to stand on the sidewalk and watch her walk away, her curls bouncing above her new preschool shoes. Where I will have to smile and wave, act excited and happy, when all I really want to do is grab her and run away and bury my face in her neck and hug her until she shrieks and giggles and says "Mommy stop! You're squishing my lungs!"

I don't want to do this. I know that parenting is really just the process of enabling the thing you hold dearest to walk away from you, but she's only three and I don't want to do this. But I know it will be good for her, that she will enjoy it, that she needs more exposure to other children, to other adults, a chance to start discovering who she is without Mommy. And so I will do it. And I will wait, hopefully, for the time when it starts to get easier. And I will not let her see me cry.

Please be kind to her, cruel world. She can be a little shy until she gets used to things so she may just play quietly in the corner for a while. Please don't write her off while she warms up to you. Please be patient while she finds her voice, and please brace yourself for the onslaught once she finds it. Please accept her and respect her, please guide her and teach her, please treat her with love and joy and understanding. And please send her back through those doors the minute her day is over. I'll be out there on the sidewalk, waiting.

Comments (29)

Aw! Happy first day of school Mia!

awww, good luck mia (and beth, lol)! school is such a hard thing to wrap your head around. but i bet you guys do great!

I knew the world felt a little cheerier today! What a lucky planet that now has a sweet little girl finding her way and getting ready to take it on. Surely, it will be a better place when she is through.

I feel your pain, I definetly felt like 3 was too darn young to be sending my baby away from me but my guess is its only a couple of hours. You will get used to it (probably long after Mia has) and pick up time turns into the happiest time of the day. Hang in there. She can't become president until she gets through school and she can't get through school until she starts.

just you wait! it gets WAY easier!i was exactly like you when i first sent emily to preschool. now that she's in second grade, it's old hat and i pretty much threw her out of the house. hahah

you can do it- and it wont seem so bad when shes whining to go back or comes home bouncing off the walls...

I am feeling your pain. I sent my Oliver to preschool this week too. He broke my heart into a million pieces when he told he was afraid that there was going to be a bad kid in his class that will hit him. Let's hope it gets easier to let them go!

*sniff* waaaaaaaaahhh

I sent my little boy to school today and left as he cried and it broke my heart. This post really touched me. Well written.

Good luck to you both!

You're teary now, but by the end of the year you are going to be so incredibly proud of the way your little girl is learning to handle the world. I'm pretty much dead inside, and Jamie was 4 when she went to preschool for the first time, and I cried all the way home. At the end of the year, I cried when she wore her little graduation cap and walked across the stage, so proud of all the ways she'd grown.

Your Mia is a lot like my little 3 year old - she's got to watch and see and then she joins in the action once she's got it figured out... But she thrives with the other kids and has so much fun that our time together is that much better for it. Please don't cry (too much), and take LOTS OF PICTURES!

Good luck to Mia! I'm sure she'll have a great time. What an emotional day for you, though.

I remember feeling this exact same way when my oldest daughter started school. I was an emotional wreck, and I could hardly let go. But then, by my second, I was still slightly emotional, but without guilt or nervousness. But now - with my third - the only emotion I feel is pure joy! I am ready to push her through the school doors and run, run, run away!! I cannot wait!!

UGH BETH!!!!! I am getting all teary eyed on your behalf! Lady starts on Monday the 15th. Will be in denial until then.

So happy for Mia, but so so so so right there with you.

Me too. I put my baby girl on the school bus at 7:30 this morning and am counting the minutes until I go meet her return bus. 24.

I know she's ready to go - she did 2 mornings a week of pre-school last year and she was five in January, but my goodness, do i miss her!

Beth this was a great post, very honest and sweet :) Hugs to you today...just to let you in on a little secret, it doesn't get any easier the older they get. Not. At. All. Sissy started 2nd grade this year and I was damn glad I had my sunglasses on. We give them roots and wings.....*sigh*.

Trust me, even when they are 31 you will feel like this. I know I do!

Bawling over here and I'm trying really hard to stop.

Good luck to both of you!!

Aw, lady... it's rough, isn't it? I just took my girl to meet-the-teacher day, and she's raring to go to school tomorrow. Sigh. It's only two days a week, right? And it'll give you special time with your little guy. Glass half full, and all that.

Awww I am sniffling with you. Andrew started preschool 2 weeks ago.

Good luck Mia...and Beth.
Hang in there.

Aw, she's growing up. It's hard I know and I still remember those days. It's all good and will get easier for all of you. Did you take any pictures?

Oh Beth, I think I might have grabbed her and held her back. How brave of both of you! I love the thought of her curls bouncing above her preschool shoes...

*sniff* it's so hard, isn't it? it will all work out, I promise.

Aww, Beth... it does hurt to let go. My baby is 17 and just started her senior year in high school. Can't say it gets much easier each time these milestones happen, but I can offer you a vitual hug...

There are times that I wish I could stop the world from spinning for awhile so we could better appreciate each other just a bit longer...

Then again, there are those moments when I can't wait to get this teenager out of my house ;-) (kidding, mostly) Wait til the dating starts, and you begin to threaten young guys with removing certain body parts...

Good luck, Mia (and Beth and Chris) with all these milestones. =-) We're all on this journey to the wonderful memories.

Do you know how much I would *love* being Mia's preschool teacher? I'm having a hard time with preschool starting - I miss all my kids from last year! You are such a fabulous mama for letting go and letting her do this - I know it's hard. She will love it.

(Do give us a report!)

I hope Mia had a good day. You made me cry, and I have another year before my son starts preschool.

I'm right there with you. My little one started Kindergarten last week and I am still crying.

Hope Mia had a wonderful day.

Thank you! I'm not the only one going a little crazy sending my first born, 3 year old off with other people to care for him for.
Hope Mia's day went well. Most importantly, I hope her second day went better than my son's.

Did you cry as you wrote this post? I could certainly feel a lump welling up in my throat as I read it.

My 3-yo triplets are scheduled to start Montessori tomorrow (all in their own classrooms) and I'm a bit of a wreck. I didn't expect that I would be >> but here I sit at almost 1:30 AM wondering if I've made the right decision. You know some children don't leave the house until they are 40.