For the past several weeks I’ve been procrastinating yet lovingly agonizing over the end of year preschool gifts for Astrid’s teachers. Because what do you buy the women who’ve made this first and amazing school impression on your child? A trip to Paris? A cruise? A new house? A pony? A pony and a ranch? A housekeeper for life? What gift truly matches your undying gratitude for what they’ve done for your child over the last two years? That’s when a generous gift card and flowers just seem so trivial for the gift that you’ve been given.
(First day of preschool)
I file Preschool teacher under the category of jobs called “I don’t know how they do it.” Also filed in this category are nurse, air traffic control, fighter pilot, and brain surgeon. And maybe junior high school teacher too. Because damn 13 year olds can be hard.
So the gift of Paris isn’t unreasonable at all.
Astrid is more than ready for kindergarten. In fact at the playground last week she climbed straight up the highest wall without help. When she reached the top she yelled “I did it Mama! See I’m big enough for kindergarten now!!” And she is – physically, socially, emotionally, mentally – she is ready.
And I’m ready for her. And I don’t wish her to stay little or to have just one more year of preschool. But I lament over the fact that we have to say goodbye to her teachers. That they won’t see the completion of what they’ve helped create – a learner, a thinker, a creator, a beautiful mind and soul. That on her high school graduation – they can look and know that they had a part in this amazing life. How do I let them know they helped do this?
How do we say goodbye this week?
I’ve cried over it for the past month. Whenever a note comes home with an ‘end of school year’ event – I cry. Whenever I walk into school and think ‘only four days left’ I cry. Each morning as I kiss Astrid goodbye and then hug her teacher – I cry.
Because these are the people and teachers I want in my kids’ lives – the people who lift them up and inspire them…
To just really enjoy life.
To sing more and dance often.
To color outside the lines.
To wear silly hats and shoes or no shoes at all.
To be a good friend.
To serve others snack before serving yourself.
To greet your friends.
To share and take turns.
To hug more.
To read good books.
To make more messes.
To paint with your fingers.
To know love from another adult besides your family.
Time moves and we sometimes follow it reluctantly. And I’m dragging my feet as we end this chapter and begin another. Not because I want to stay behind and live in the past, but because I want to carry the beauty of the past with us.
And remember how incredible preschool is.
May this be the beginning of the magic of a lifetime of learning and love. And a celebration of the teachers each year who will make an impact on her young life.
And I hope her teachers don’t mind that we stop by to just say hello once in awhile. Because I truly cannot imagine a life without any of them.