Oh my stars.
How did we get here?!
Today was Drew's first day of preschool. Preschool.
And I fully admit that it wasn't until I left Drew in his classroom that the magnitude of this event hit me. I think I was concentrating more on how I was going to exit without Drew kicking and screaming, that when I finally did leave, I had this feeling of "Whoa. I just left my baby at school. Holy crap." I didn't cry (somehow) but my heart strings were tugged.
Okay, more like pulled.
Oh, alright, they were yanked right off!
Drew is in Mrs. Bland's three-year-old class at Hobby Horse Preschool. They meet every Tuesday and Thursday morning from 9:00-11:15am. Open house was on Tuesday, and Drew and I went to turn in our papers, pay our fee, meet his teacher, and see his classroom. Drew wasn't that excited about going. But once we got there, explored a little bit, and he found a Thomas train set, he didn't want to leave. I thought to myself, "If only it goes this well on Thursday!"
Um, not so much.
It started well. Drew was super excited to go to school this morning. He got dressed and brushed his teeth without stalling or arguing (!), smiled for pictures, and energetically climbed into the van.
And then we got to school.
I could tell the nervousness had set in, and he didn't care to play with the trains or say good morning to the classroom guinea pig. I told him it was time for me to go, and that I would be back soon to pick him up, and he was clinging to my leg in a split second. With help and encouragement from Mrs. Bland, I gave him a quick kiss, said "have a good morning!" and walked out of the room to the screams of my son behind me.
So yeah. That's when those heart strings got yanked.
But I think it was the walking away that really got me. The part of growing up that Drew gets to experience all on his own. This is his thing now. The first time he's been away from me as a regular part of his day. This is for him, and in that regard, I'm left out.
Whoa. I guess that's the hard part.
I get it. He's still only three. It's not like he's flown the coop (yet). But this step towards independence, of him having something just for himself, is a pretty big deal, especially for this mama.
When I got home (five minutes after dropping him off as we live about a mile away), Mrs. Bland had texted Brad: "Tell Lesley Drew is great, only fussed for 30 seconds."
(One of the perks of Hobby Horse is that we know the Bland family from the community, so (thankfully) I don't have the extra nerves of leaving Drew in an unknown environment with unfamiliar adults.)
When I returned to pick him up, he was smiling and happy and so excited. Before he could even get buckled into his car seat he had to pull out his art project for the day.
He was so proud. And as we pulled out of the parking lot, Drew tells me,
"It was fun!"
And my heart is happy.