Monday, November 28, 2011

the school our little love goes to

Em's first day of school
Dear Em,
As I said before, we were so blessed that you were loved & watched at our home during your first year & a half. I was able to stay home with you for the first 5 months, your aunt Jennie came out to watch you for a month, your Nonnie watched you for a month after that, & then you were watched by the two most amazing nannies & their two sweet daughters. Your Daddy & I could put our 100% into our jobs knowing that you were loved, learning, & having a blast at home. Your nannies & their daughters became a part of our families, & it filled my heart with joy to see that you loved them as much as they loved you.

Soon after you turned one & a half, your nannies left to pursue other adventures. I knew it was coming & yet I kept pushing it from my mind. It stressed me out more than you can know. What if you didn't like school? What if you learned bad habits from the other kids? What if your teachers didn't pay enough attention to you? What if the kids were mean to you? What if you were the meanie? I was so stressed out, I put off looking at schools as long as I could.

When we finally toured schools, your nonnie came with us. Your nonnie was the one with the tough questions at the first school we went to. She shook her head with disapproval as we walked through the classrooms. I could feel my stress level rising.

I mean, not working, financially, was not an option for your Daddy & I. What could I do? I was ready to sob uncontrollably until your nonnie agreed to move from North Carolina to Rhode Island to watch you for the rest of your life.

I can't tell you how thankful I am that your school was the next one that we toured. Your nonnie smiled from ear to ear as we walked through the school. We were so impressed with the classrooms, the miniature toilets & sinks, the outside play area, the artwork all over the walls, & the teaching philosophies. You were amazed by all the baby dolls that they had in each classroom. By the end, your nonnie actually asked if she could go to the school too.

Your first few weeks were a quite a transition. You had difficulty napping, cried every time you were dropped off, & cried during the entire car ride home. Your daddy & I questioned whether or not we had made the right decision at least 467,123 times. Things quickly started to change, though. You started to talk about your friends & teachers at school & actually clapped your hands & smiled when we pulled into the school parking lot.

You can tell you love your teachers & your classmates & they love you. Each day when I pick you up your teachers laugh as they tell me a story about something you had done that day. Your "friends" at school wave by to you as we leave to go home. When we left for Ohio, your teachers looks genuinely sad as they said, "we'll miss you!"

After a two and a half months, we've noticed so many other differences too. You now clean up one toy before you take out another (well, most of the time). You know the days of the week (although, for some reason you always think that it's Tuesday). Rather than getting frustrated when a puzzle piece doesn't immediately fit, you've learned to turn the piece until it fits. You recognize so many letters, numbers, shapes, & colors now.

I was getting you dressed the other day as you sang. "Is it cloudy? Is it sunny? Oh, Mommy, won't you tell me what the weather is today?" This was not a song that we have sung with you. I immediately knew this must be a song your learned at school. I snuggled you up & squeezed you so tight. It was a lovely moment.

You, your daddy, & I spent the rest of the morning singing about the weather. Your daddy & I smiled at each other & smiled at you, really knowing that we made the right decision.

We're so very thankful for your school- a place where you can laugh, love, learn, explore, play, share, & sing. It truly makes all the difference.

I love you so,

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