Today was THE day. Oia and I woke early and had our morning staple of yogurt and cartoons while cuddled on the couch. Then, I quickly dressed this big girl of ours in her new preschool outfit, braided the piggies, snapped a couple first day of school pictures, grabbed her tiny backpack and lunch box and on the way we were...all the way to C Elementary for Oia's first day of preschool. Daddy even left for work a little later than usual to send us off and to wish Oia a good day.
We arrived at 8. Oia was the third kiddo to arrive. I carried her in and knelt down by the little table where her teacher was seated with the two other kids. Then immediately Oia's sixth sense kicked in and she buried her head in my shoulder and held on for dear life. She knew I was leaving without her. Out came the bottom lip, her face turned red and she said a very soft and pathetic "no". I assured her I was not leaving just yet and asked her to sit at the table to play with the Play-Doh. She did. Ms. J handed her a ball of yellow Play-Doh and Oia said 'thank you'. I handed off all the classroom supplies that were requested to the assistant. I passed on her lunch box and backpack and whispered to the assistant that there was a binki in Oia's backpack should the morning get rough...you know, just in case. Oia tapped on the seat of the chair next to her as her way of telling me to sit beside her. My years of teaching taught me that a lingering drop-off is harder than a quick one, so it was best I not sit down. She began to play again with her Play-Doh and then I kissed her forehead, told her I loved her and left moments later when she wasn't looking. I felt a lump well in my throat once I left the room because I felt like I had just abandoned my daughter but the tears stayed at bay. I drove back home feeling proud; a little lonely, but proud.
I anxiously returned after lunch to pick her up. Ms. J said Oia had a good day. I was relieved. She told me Oia did get a little upset after she realized I left her this morning but she recovered quickly. This is the face that greeted me the very moment I walked into the classroom for her pick-up...
She may not be able to 'tell' me all about the events of her day but this face told me all I needed to know. It was a good day indeed!