Saturday, May 27, 2017

Goodbye Little Preschool And All You've Represented

I am a wreck today. A visible, I shouldn't leave the house kind of wreck. You see, my youngest graduated from preschool today. They did the whole cap and gown ceremony. That ended with the words "and now I'm in kindergarten!" That's not what set me off though. It probably should have, especially when she insisted we stop up at her new elementary school to snap a picture.

What really set me off was saying goodbye to the preschool. Walking out of the building for the last time, knowing that we wouldn't be back in this capacity again. I liked the safety, the small classes, the phenomenal teachers, the outlook on early childhood education. Everything matched my own beliefs. It was the perfect place for my children to grow and learn.

I couldn't put my finger on why exactly I was having such a hard time saying goodbye to the preschool. As I mentioned before, I didn't have a problem acknowledging my youngest heading to kindergarten. I'm actually fairly excited by that one. As I sat crying at our dining room table, sobbing for the umpteenth time today, I realized what I was having issues with.

It's what the preschool represents (for me). You see, up until this point, one child finished up preschool and it was a "have a great summer! See you in the fall when _____ child will be here!" This year, we didn't have that. I don't have anymore children to see off to preschool. I don't get anymore preschool family fun nights. I don't get anymore first family portraits or an excited  "(insert child's name) wrote their name for the first time!" at pick ups. No, all of my children can write their names. All of my children are past the preschool age....and there's the source of my tears.

It's not about keeping my youngest a baby (as many have suggested to me). It's about not having anymore after her. As done as I know we are, as done as I am, with the whole baby/having kids scene, it suddenly stings that there's no more. While many firsts lie ahead, many firsts are behind us. We'll never get those again. That's rather tough for this momma to swallow, despite it being (nearly) five years since we made the call of no more babies (we even threw ourselves a party. Read about it here). 

As I was driving to preschool graduation, I happened upon a song that I found appropriate for this time in my life (also, Coffee House radio on Sirius has been my jam lately). I smiled through my ridiculous amount of tears, because sometimes life puts something in front of me that is needed. I know life goes on (and on and on), but I will take the time to mourn this change for me as a mom and us as a family. I will miss having my own littles around. I will miss those preschool parties and the simplicity of it all. But....

(by Langhorn Slim and The Law)

Things could be stranger but I don't know how
I'm going through changes now
I've spent a lifetime trying to figure it out
I'm going through changes now
And I've just begun
Under a purple sun
There's many reasons we are what we become
I'm going through changes, ripping out pages
I'm going through changes now
I knew it once, but I forgot
I'm going through changes now
We want everything but what we got
I'm going through changes now
Maybe it's too soon
Under a purple moon
But I'd ride off with you in a big balloon
I'm going through changes, rattling cages
I'm going through changes now
Things could be different but I don't know how
I'm going through changes, through all of the strangeness
I'm going through changes now