Tough First Day


Tough First Day

11/6/2001

 

Today was my daughter’s first day of preschool. She’s two and a half years old. She had a hard time with separation anxiety, but after a tough start, apparently – after I left – she had a good “second half”.

Sarah is a Daddy’s Girl to the nth power. If I’m in the room, you’d think it physically pained her to be more than six inches from me. She’s not even content to sit between my legs; she absolutely must sit on my lap. Period.

Given this, I had no illusions about how the day would go. It was really only a question of how bad it would be.

Let’s just say that I was the last parent out of the classroom. Okay, maybe second to last. When I left, her little hands had to be torn from my neck. Tears were flowing from her wet eyes down her little cherub cheeks. I skulked out of the door and around the corner as quickly as I could.

As it turns out, I have a friend that has a son in Sarah’s class. When he left, he said his son seemed to be doing fine, but he said that he was going to go back just to take a look and check. When he came back, he told me the news: his son was doing fine, but Sarah, although no longer crying, was standing by the door looking forlornly up at the window.

I walked in a sad fog slowly to my car. I’m not really sure how I got there. I took a few minutes to compose myself, then drove off to an appointment. Along the drive, I called my nanny, who was to pick Sarah up, to give her the news.

Later in the day, my nanny called me to tell me the good news. She had spoken to the teacher after class; after being sad for a short while, Sarah regrouped and actually started playing and having a good time.

So, although she needed me there for 45 minutes – and probably would have wanted me there for even more than that if it had been totally up to her – my little trooper stepped up after a rough start and made a day of it. I’m so proud of her resiliency and character. Most of all, I’m thrilled that she already seems to drift to her center, which appears to be defined by happiness and joy.

My little girl went to her first day of school. And played with the other kids! And had fun! But, but, but she’s only 2 ½… Talk about mind boggling…

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