July 5, 2010

dear preschooler.

Dear Bennet,

When Daddy and I made the decision to enroll you in preschool for the summer, we hoped it was the right one. You were throwing temper tantrums, clinging to Momma, and acting out in all kinds of ways. I was at my wits end, and I was so worried about you. We could tell you sensed that things were about to change around our house, with Momma's belly growing bigger, pink clothes coming into the house, and so much talk of baby sisters. We knew you needed something of your very own - something that would give you some extra guidance and structure, something that would give you the opportunity to gain some independence before the new baby arrived. Starting preschool a few months early seemed like the best decision, so we signed you up and hoped for the best!

You were so excited to start school. You had your monkey backpack all packed and ready, and we talked about school endlessly. Momma felt sad to see a new chapter in your life start, but was also so excited to see what changes and lessons preschool would bring about.

Looking back to that first day of school, your little face showed that you were so nervous about it all. You barely carried your backpack to the end of our street before you handed it off to me, and you seemed so confused about where we were headed that morning in the car. You cried when I dropped you off. I will never, ever forget the look of relief that came over your little face three hours later when I came back to pick you up. We praised you for being so brave and going to school like a big boy, but you weren't sure about school at all.

For the next few school days, you broke my heart every single morning when I dropped you off. You started saying, "No. No. No." quietly in the back seat when we turned into the parking lot. You insisted that I hold your hand and would look questioningly into my face saying, "Momma? Momma?" You cried the whole way into the school and down the hall to your classroom. You even laid down on the carpet in the foyer once and cried into the rug. You'd cling to me and I'd pry you off of my legs, force you into your classroom, and then get in my car and call Daddy crying.

Then, the calls from the director started. She'd call to tell me she was worried about you, too. She'd say that you were not happy there and were not adjusting well. You were throwing temper tantrums there, too. You weren't handling the transitions from one activity to another. She was concerned that we needed to shorten your mornings there, or pull you out until the fall and then give it another try once you were a little older.

Daddy and I knew that you needed to be there. We really felt that it was the best thing for you. As a parent, you have so many concerns in situations like this. We didn't want to teach you that if you cried and threw temper tantrums, you'd get to quit school or come home early. We wanted to do the best thing for you. We decided to leave things the way they were, and give you more time to adjust.

I'm so glad we stuck with it, because you're doing so much better now! What a difference one month can make. When we leave for school now, you proudly carry your backpack to the car, and can't wait to climb up into your car seat and drive there. You run in the door, asking to ride the bikes in the gym and play with your friends. Instead of crying when I drop you off, you cry when I show up at the door, holding your teacher's legs because you don't want to leave! I love seeing how much fun you have there, and how much you're learning.

We see such a big difference in you now, even in just a month. The temper tantrums have gone away, you're doing a better job listening and following rules, and you're doing so many things independently. You seem more confident, and you're learning more words and sentences every day. Sometimes I can't believe how smart you are - counting to ten, singing your ABC's, using words I didn't even know you knew. I am so proud of you, Buddy, and so impressed with what a big boy you're becoming.

With just days left until your baby sister arrives, I am so excited to see you be a big brother. Kennedy is a lucky little girl, having a brother like you to watch out for her. You are so smart, caring and loving - you amaze me every single day. Congratulations on making it through your first month of preschool! We are so proud of you!



Cory E. :) said...


This was a great blog post. It was hard to keep back the tears. I can see Bennett getting embarrassed as his girlfriend reads this letter. ha ha. what a great idea to write this letter.

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