Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Lasts That Come Before the Firsts

So P. doesn't exactly start school tomorrow. We'll stop by for her evaluation, which shouldn't take more than half an hour. Then on Friday she and I will join the other kids and parents at the official hour-long orientation. Her real first day of kindergarten won't happen until Monday.

I'm all ready with a giant homemade schultüte that is sitting in a vase in the very back of my closet full of all kinds of sweets and treats. P. is excited but also nervous, though as I see it I have four days to get her super pumped for Day 1.

But today? Today was her last day of daycare.

I remember P.'s first day of daycare - handing her over while she cried, then driving to work sobbing and thinking about how I could veer into oncoming traffic to muffle the horrible feeling in my gut. We love our daycare provider but that first day and those first few months were just awful for me.

Less so for P., who still cried a little at drop off after that but mostly had fun all day, every day because other people's toys and other kids are pretty compelling.

Here's a side-by-side comparison of her first day versus her last day:

Getting used to the new day-to-day is going to take some time. She'll be in half-day kindergarten five days a week - and by half-day what they mean is two hours. Bo will be in daycare two days a week so I can get some work done not on a weeknight or the weekend.

At school P. will be with grownups I've never met around kids she's never met doing things she's maybe never done at home. And Bo will be carted back and forth, hopefully adjusting to an earlier lunch and nap instead of dropping his nap altogether.

Change. It's hard.

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