Last week I pulled up to E's preschool for her daily pick up.
(I used to hate the pickup line outside her preschool. When we moved here, Z was 3 and I was used to picking her up inside her daycare in CA. Not only did she run across the room and jump into my arms - one of the best parts of parenting bar none - but also just being in the room gave me a sense of the the classroom that day. I got to talk to her teachers, the other parents, the other kids. I saw Z's wet finger-painting hanging from a clip and her favorite baby doll tucked into the kitchen sink and I felt connected to her experience that day.
So when we moved here and I was made to wait outside her new preschool, alone in my car, separate from but surrounded by the other parents' cars which I KNEW contained at least one person who could be my friend, I felt removed from Z's experience as well as just plain old lonely.
What a difference three years makes.
Now it's E who's at the preschool. Now I deeply appreciate the ability to pull up and have her escorted to my car. It's so quick! Easy! Convenient! If she didn't always do a little dance around the interior of my car, requiring my creative and sometimes forceful entreaties to get her into her seat, I wouldn't even have to unbuckle myself at any point.)
(Where was I?)
(Oh yes. Last week.)
The director the school brought her out to me that day. She's a smart, kind woman who always gives just the right amount of eye contact and has an easy warm smile. That right there makes her an A + in my book. But she doesn't usually work the pickup line.
"We got your form for next year," she said, smiling. "But correct me if I'm wrong, isn't E going to be a kindergartener in the fall?"
"Yes. Yes, she is," was all I could say.
Of course she is. I'm aware of this.
Or am I?
I'm not ready, you guys. I'm just not.
She's so sweet and cuddly, my E. Each weekday, I pick her up from preschool and bring her home and we have lunch together, sitting at our kitchen table in the slanting sunlight and we laugh and some of us take forever to actually eat our food and we talk about nonsense and big stuff and more nonsense. Then we have Quiet Time, where I rest in bed for an hour with my book while she prattles on in her room talking to her barbies and her stuffed dogs and when her clock turns green, she climbs into bed with me and we cuddle and most of the time IT'S PRETTY MUCH HEAVEN RIGHT HERE ON EARTH.
After that, we often have time to play a board game or read a stack of books or put away laundry together before meeting Z at the bus stop. It's a relaxed but engaged part of my day.
And all that'll stop next year when she enters kindergarten and OH you guys, I'm just not ready.