It’s a wrap. Another preschool year has come and gone. Some of you may be in the early preschool years and some of you may be closing this chapter in your lives. Mine have been out of preschool for two years now and I just cannot believe how time has flown by. It seems like just yesterday when I wrote this post on my tribute to preschool.
When I first explored preschool for my oldest, I was a new stay-at-home mom. My baby was only 9 months old and my playgroup girlfriend encouraged me to sign up for preschool. My immediate reaction was “are you C-R-A-Z-Y?? I just gave birth to this child, why on earth should I be looking at preschool?” Silly me, I had no idea what those three short hours 2-3 days a week would do for me over the years. And I could kiss my girlfriend who pushed me outside of my comfort zone to send my little girl to preschool for the first time!
Those three hours gave me a little piece of me back, even though I didn’t know I was missing that. I could work out ANYWHERE, not just the Y. I could grocery shop without packing a zillion snacks. I could have lunch with my gal pals. Heck, I could even start a blog that would eventually turn into a thriving business:-) Yup, all of this happened in the confines of preschool hours. But imagine what could happen when I got out of preschool jail and all of my kids entered kindergarten – the possibilities are endless!
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely ADORED the preschool years. Now that I have a 6th grader, 3rd grader and two 1st graders, I often find myself day-dreaming about the days when all I had on my calendar was a playdate at the park and a Music Together class. The days of children napping and taking swimming lessons. The early days of mommyhood when I could clear my schedule if one child was home sick. Those days have been replaced with the most insanely busy schedule of four children with four different interests and after school activities and loads of homework. Every day now blends into another and it seems before I know it, Monday is here again and we start this rodeo all over.
I miss my preschool years. I really do. I know, I know, some of you are probably cracking open your first bottle of champagne right now for your celebratory mimosa after preschool graduation! I did that too, trust me! But I honestly miss the innocence and calmness that having little, little children brings – the afternoons at the park, the endless trips to the Charlotte Nature Muesuem and the fun art projects that you actually get to complete start to finish (so glad pinterest came in to play after we graduated from preschool, I would have had information overload:-). The reality is that once your kiddos are all in big school, your parenting roller coaster is just beginning. Your 2-3 hours will turn into 6 hours, but trust me, you will wonder where that extra time went. The after school activities will start to kick in as all of your children grow up right before your eyes. Their social calendars will pick up and before you know it, your Saturday is booked from 8:15am to 4:15 pm with soccer for three of your four kids, throw in a dance recital and a flag football game and call it a day. And we don’t even do travel teams (save that bad boy for another day!).
So now I am the old goat telling my younger mommy friends to soak. it. all. in. Bask in the innocence of those little people just embarking on a new stage in life. I promise you, once you get out of preschool jail, your life flies before your eyes. And you too will find a time when you miss those sweet days.
Here’s to all of the 2013 Preschool Graduates moving onto the big leagues of kindergarten – and to the Smarty Mamas who are ready for a little more freedom!