An oldie but goodie. . .
Just over 2 years ago our oldest daughter had her first day of preschool. I thought I would share the older piece about that day here.
September 12, 2013 . . . I still can't believe that Lilly started preschool today. I can't believe that our precious little 7lb 11 oz baby girl, has grown up into a 25 lb3 1/2 year old little lady.
It was a difficult thing leaving her in that classroom today, not because I was worried about her safety, or her struggling to calm down. Not because I am sad that she is growing up so quickly (although that is also true:), or because I was worried about other kids picking on her.
It was difficult to leave the classroom because I don't ever want to miss any moments in our girls' lives, and today it seemed like I would be missing some big ones.
The thought of her making her first new school friend, or saying her first prayer with her classmates and teachers, or going to recess with her peers for the first time made my heart ache a little because I want to witness every moment of her little precious childhood. I want to be able to engrave in my mind the first time she made another student laugh, and the first time she offered to help a child who was sad, or the first time she had to sit in the "Thinking Chair" for not making the right choices. I want to memorize the dialogue between her and Justin r (her God Brother) on their first adventure in school together. I want to hear them giggle, and watch the joy in their eyes when it's time for recess. I want see Lilly bow her head and thank God for all her blessings.
Even though I know I can't see, hear, witness and experience every moment of her life, or even of her childhood, it's a very hard for me to accept. Until...today...at 11:33 am...
I pick her up from school. I walk into the classroom. I see her beautiful face. I hear her sweet little voice. I can feel her happiness inside of me.
"Mama, I went to preschool! Like a big girl" - This is where it started.
Then in the car on the way home, I get to experience this adventure she went on, through her words, I get to see it through her eyes, and feel it through her kind loving heart. With a smile on her face, a twinkle in her eye, a cheerful tone in her voice, and joy in her heart she tells me about her first day of preschool.
"Mama, the teacher helped us sing a song at school about Jesus. It was 'Jesus Loves Me' mama, but I already knew the words mama 'cause you sing it to me"
"Mama we got juice and goldfish for a snack"
"Mommy, we sat on the blue circle rug, and I sat on the letter 'A', and the other girl sat on the 'A' too, and she didn't want me to sit on the 'A', but I shared with her mama"
"Mama, me and Justin went to preschool!"
"My new friend is Lilie mama, just like my name is Lilly"
"Mama, I shared with the kids, are you proud of me?"
"Mama I went on the BIG slide!"
"And mama, we said prayers at school too, and I thanked God for all my loved ones"
And that's when I realized "This is why, this is why we aren't meant to be able to experience EVERY moment, it's why we aren't supposed to be able to be with our children at all times, it's why they need to be independent and confident. This is why we have to give them a little time, and a little space to grow up and become the amazing people they are meant to be."
Had I gone to school with Lilly and been able to watch her first recess, her first prayer with her classmates, her meeting her first new friend at school, I wouldn't have seen it the way it should be seen. I wouldn't have heard it in the way it was meant to be heard. Or felt the same emotions that were meant to be felt.
As Lilly described her first day at school to me, I experienced it through the heart and mind of our precious 3 1/2 year old. I didn't think to myself "Awe, her and that other Lilie are so cute playing together" or "I am so scared she is going down that big slide by herself" or " I am so glad her and Justin are here together" instead, I listened carefully to our daughter, to the simple words she was saying, and to the tone in her voice, I looked at the smile and emotion on her face and through all this was able to experience it through her in a way I would have missed out on if I was there to see it myself.
I may not have learned about every detail of her day, and some things may have been lost in translation and communication, but I got to experience the joy she felt in a way I will never forget.
So even though it was a bitter sweet day, watching our baby girl go to school and start this adventure that is somewhat scary for me, I could not be happier or more proud of our daughter who had her first day of preschool, and gave her mommy a memory, of a short car ride home, that she will never forget.
Lilly Ann, you amaze and inspire me everyday.