By Christy (Pre-3’s Parent)
Mommy tears are filling my eyes as I sit down to think about that first day of Pre3s class, and how much has changed since then. My sweet and sensitive boy was so excited, but so nervous. And so was I. We had spent the year prior in the Toddlers class, with my little guy clinging to my every move. It was a fun year, and we made lifelong friends, but my first born was still anxiously connected to me by an invisible umbilical cord. This year we both knew would be different. We would have to DROP OFF. Separate. Aka: cut the cord. I desperately needed drop off day to go well, because I was ready for a break. But honestly, I couldn’t imagine anything other than a complete meltdown, call mom now and tell her to come back, nightmare.
Enter Miss Amy and Miss Emily Bradley. We made a plan, goals, and a timeline for separation. They eased my worries and reminded me that it was a good time, and this was a safe place to practice the skill of separation. And on the first drop off day, it wasn’t easy. And there were tears and (I can’t sugar coat it…) screaming. And they did call me, and I did come back. But the next drop off day, I didn’t get a phone call, and I didn’t need to rush back. And slowly but surely, there were only a few tears when I said goodbye.
He sat in his blue chair by the entry for most of those first few weeks, and watched the class. But he wasn’t scared, and he wasn’t crying. He just needed time. And then there was the glorious day that I got a text with a picture of a smiling boy, participating at circle time. My heart was full and I knew that all of the hard work, planning and support given by everyone around us had paid off. And my sweet little guy was so proud of himself that he beamed when I came to pick him up that day.
Throughout the rest of our Pre3s year, my son (and all of the kids!) have grown so much. They’ve gone from toddlers to preschoolers. And I am so thankful for all of the wonderful parents, teachers, and parent educators who gave us the tools to be brave and grow.