There is that wonderful day when you wake up and realize that today is the day you leave the comfortable home setting of your daycare provider and set off for REAL SCHOOL.
Curran started preschool this week. He and his Daddy called me on Sunday to let me know that they were all set for real school. He would be playing and interacting with 3 & 4 year olds. There would no longer be sharing time with babies, not having anybody your own age or sex to play with. A real teacher!
All the grandkids started new grades this year. Everybody getting older, wiser and taller. Birthdays seem to come faster too. I mark my calendar when I should mail my cards so they get there on time and still the time manages to slip away from me and Grammy actually ends up sending something late.
I could say I have a lot on my plate but really don't we all?
I took Riley to school her first week of Pre-K. Her mother was ending a relationship and needed to move him and all his stuff out of the apartment. It seemed better to just keep Riley here and out of the discussions.
After dropping her off, at the same place she has been going for daycare but a new room full of JUST 4 year olds I left knowing that she was going to have a great day. As I climbed the steps a young mother behind me said, "I feel just awful, are you supposed to feel this sad?"
I muttered consoling words but when I reached my car I sat there thinking, I don't think I was ever sad to see my kids go off to school. I enjoyed spending time with them, at home.
We did a lot together. The only preschool they did was in two hour snatches three times a week. The rest of the time we spent together. We were all ready to move on to a new environment.
I was happy to see them excited about making new friends, learning new things, having a new teacher in their lives. I know for a fact I didn't cry when I dropped them off.
In fact, I remember my oldest didn't even want me to take him to Kindergarten the first day. He knew the route. He wanted to walk by himself. Thirty-five years ago kids could do that. We didn't have to worry so much about fearful things happening to them on their way to and from places.
Someone once told me that they used to pass him on his way to school and he would walk around every old tree on the terrace. He must have done it quickly because nobody ever called me to say he was late for school!
I asked my mother the other day, on the phone, if she took me for my first day of kindergarten. There was a long pause and she said she didn't think so. She remembered walking with me to show me the way to go which involved walking through a wooded area, down a maze of streets to the school. We agreed that now a social worker would probably site her for neglect for letting me walk that route by myself.
This summer, while driving around town, doing my errands I was always on the lookout for kids playing in the park areas, riding bikes, playing pickup baseball on the field. I checked out back yards that I could see from the road and all the fancy play structures were empty. All the netted in trampolines were empty. Above ground pools were still covered with plastic. Neighborhoods were quiet.
Everybody inside. Everybody playing video games or maybe just watching TV. It seems like childhood as I know it may have ended.
I worry about this. I worry a lot about this. Kids need to play. They need to create fantasy worlds while they interact with mother nature. They need to be outside. They need to be playing with other children.
But, then again maybe they are developing entirely new skill sets that the future world needs more. Maybe I just miss seeing kids playing. That makes me want to cry.
I hope all my grandchildren have a wonderful school year. I hope they enjoy their classrooms, classmates and teachers.
I hope they are inspired, encouraged, supported and tended as they learn and grow. Because they are our future. They will be making the decisions about our world when we no longer can.
They are our hope and promise.