Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Letting Go Isn't Easy

Monday was the fourth day of school and I'm was nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Monday was the first day my daughter begins the "simplified" daycare/school day.

Last week, there were two days before school got started and we started off by visiting our old daycare lady and reiterating that the change was for me and had nothing to do with her. We also changed plans and let our daughter go the first two days of the week to her house to give them both a chance to say goodbye. Both the meeting and the two days went well and I think all was accomplished.

My wife already home for the month of August to work a rotation at one of her potential employers next summer, took the following three days off to get some mother daughter time and to take my daughter to her first days of school. I took Friday off to walk with them to school.  The first three days of school went well with my daughter telling me all about her days only after I pry it from her but she seems to love school as I knew she would. The only minor cause for concern was that she almost got put on the bus to the new daycare center after her first day of school and only because she lagged behind because she was confused and my wife happened to walk up early did that little thing get avoided. The teacher made an honest mistake on the first day of school and of course I forgive her since I'm sure she had twenty plus other adults making special plans.

But then Monday arrived and now I was worried again. I took my daughter to daycare where the bus picks her up in 15 minutes. That didn't worry me. What worried me is that she has to change buses at the high school to get on the bus that goes to her elementary school, one of three. We talked about it numerous times over the weekend and there are supposed to be adults at the high school to help them, especially the first few days, but the first few days in my eyes were the three last week when she walked to school with us. I ended up asking all the little kids in the class which ones were going to the same elementary school and asking if they would make sure my daughter gets on the right bus with them. I was confident that my daughter would get to school. What worried me more is after school. I'm worried that my daughter won't get on the bus for the trip back to her daycare and that she will be left at the school building. I told her that if that happens to go back inside and tell the teachers what had happened but it still worried me.

I tried to reassure myself that hundreds of kindergarten children have successfully undergone the same rite of passage as my daughter because that is the way they have been doing it successfully since before I moved to this town and I've yet to hear about a lost child. I tried to reassure myself that my daughter is smart and because she has been away from home during the day since she was three months old that she has more street smarts than some of her peers who never spent a day away from their parents until last week. (You could pick those kids out easily from the crowd.) My daughter can even point out the way from our house to the school and the daycare though walking it alone is a whole other ball of wax. That first day, I anxiously waited any phone calls or online notices that she was tardy and I couldn't rest easy until they debited money from her account for lunch. Then I just had to worry about her getting back to daycare.

Dang it is hard to let go of your children.

On the plus side, today is Wednesday and her third day of successfully navigating between daycare and kindergarten. On Monday when I picked her up at daycare and nervously asked how riding the bus went she said, "Daddy, it was so cool!"

Dang it is hard to watch your children grow up.


R. Sherman said...

I remember being overwhelmed on my first day of finding the bus home. It sounds like your daughter weathered it well.

BTW, welcome to the next two decades of "letting go."


warren said...

Agreed my friend...but mine love it now. Well, at least the first few weeks. It is tough though...

Ron said...

The bus change would worry me sick. I'd probably follow the bus to make sure the switch happened ok.

geri said...

That is so cool that Little Abbey was able to navigate between those bus changes - that would worry me sick too. I guess this worrying comes naturally to us parents, I even read of another mom in our school googlegroup of breathing in a paper bag during her children's first day of school. Evan doesn't talk much about his school either but every morning he's always eager to go inside the schoolhouse.