January 6, 2010 by Shannon
Kellan preparing to walk out the door for his first day of preschool, and getting fired up with some sweet, tippy toe dance moves
There was nervousness, clingyness and even some tears. But at the end of three hours, there were smiles! I must be honest and tell you Kellan wasn’t the only one doing the clinging and crying. Yeah, I lost it a little.
I couldn’t help it. I flashed back to the day I left him in the childcare area at the gym while I worked out for 35 minutes, and came back to find him melting into tears. This time, as Michael and I encouraged him to go over and sit with the other kids in circle time, he started to tear up and latch onto my leg. I tried to hold in the waterworks, but it was no use. Michael had to take over and I bolted to the door so Kellan wouldn’t see me crying. That would NOT have helped the situation.
After we extricated ourselves from the classroom, we retreated to the gym area, where we could watch Kellan and his classmates take their swimming lesson in the pool. He walked in holding a teacher’s hand. He sat at the edge of the pool with the other kids. The instructor told them all to splash their feet in the water, and Kellan just sat there and turned his head away. And then, when all the other kids jumped into the water, Kellan remained on the edge. I saw his diaphragm suck in and his face redden. He was crying. He was not sobbing, but definitely not happy. My heart broke into a thousand tiny pieces, but Michael looked at me and said, “He’ll be okay.”
And soon, he was. I watched as one of his teachers lifted him off the edge of the pool and gently bounced him in the water. I watched her help him float peacefully on his back. I watched him join his classmates in holding onto some large floating device. Then the whole group marched away from the big pool and over to the kiddie area just below my treadmill. I thought I was being so discreet as I peeked out from behind my TV screen, but somehow, Kellan spotted me. I saw him mouth the word, “Mommy!” and he flashed a huge grin. I think at that point he realized that his teachers would take good care of him, and that I was not far away. Because at pick-up, his teachers used words like “perfect” and “a delight” to describe Kellan and his first day.
Kellan said he didn’t really meet any kids, but that’s okay. He’ll make friends in time. However, he did say, “I thought and thought about it, and I figured out that I had fun playing!” I didn’t realize having fun was something a person had to give thought to. Nevertheless, it tells me he wasn’t miserable. So this preschool thing just might work out after all.