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.