I just rocked my kids’ world, and not really in a good way.
I knocked my kids off their little preschool pedestals – I took them from a place where they were Big Dogs, Big Kids on Campus, King/Queen of the Castle and moved them to a place where they would be required to prove themselves all over again. I took them from a world that was warm and secure, and “threw” them into the big wide world…well, as big as it could be for a four year old.
I moved them to a new school.
My children were in a facility that we absolutely loved. It was a daycare that transitioned to preschool in the last classroom. It was small, safe and comfortable; a place where teachers rarely turned over and loved the children almost as if they were their own. My children had been there since they were 4 months old, and they grew up next to the other kids in their class who had also been there since they were infants. But it was the very thing that we loved – the size and familiarity – that made me move them to a new school. I wanted them to experience the scale that would teach them how to adapt to new surroundings and new friends – I needed them to venture outside of their comfort zone so that they could strengthen their own character.
I was initially surprised at how “seamless” the transition was. It never occurred to me to attribute the recent whining, neediness and defiance to the change – I blew it off as being “just a phase.” It wasn’t until I caught my daughter whimpering in bed at night, saying, “Mommy…I really miss my old friends and teachers…” (stab me in the heart with a knife) that I realized how oblivious I had been.
We went back to their old preschool to visit their friends on Thursday and my daughter was in her element. The next morning, both kids cried uncontrollably that they missed their old friends. In moments of sadness like this, I feel the urge to run back to the place that they feel most comfortable until I remind myself (and them) that although change is hard, it is good; it builds character. My kids feel insecure about themselves, their new friends, and their new surrounding and their little world has been temporarily torn apart. Eventually, I know that their world will come back together and it will be bigger and better than before.
In the meantime, I will do everything to assure them that I will always be there for them no matter what’s changing.
As an end note…to all of our extended family at Leaps N’ Bounds, we are so sad to go, but we know it’s time. THANK YOU…for everything. We would not be the big kids we are now if it had not been for you.
Thank you for being there as we grew from babies into big kids (with big attitudes).
Thank you for teaching us how to smile and have fun.
Thank you for wiping our tears when we were sad, and for giggling along with us when we were happy.
Thank you for giving us a little encouragement when we needed it the most (because you really believed in us!).
Thank you for being not only our second home, but also our second family.
Thank you for loving us and being such a tremendous part of our lives over the past four years.