First day of preschool (September 2014) vs. Last day of preschool (May 2015)
And, one more comparison for good measure. Not much has changed in a school year, right?
Days like today cause me to step back and reflect how fast time flies as a parent. I guess the old adage "the days are long, but the years are short" rings true. Yesterday was a particularly long day in parenting, and I found myself willing the clock to move faster on more than one occasion. And then there's days like today when I stop in awe of these two incredible kids of mine, and wonder how it's possible they're growing up so quickly.
It's incredible to see how much Tory's mentally developed this school year. She had some ups and downs -- namely, bouts of separation anxiety -- but worked to overcome her fears and really loved her time at school overall. She learned how to cut with a scissors this year, and mastered reading and writing the alphabet. She learned how to follow direction, to sing songs, and how to calmly sit and listen. Tory absolutely adored the children's teacher, Ms. Janna, who'd I say became one of Tory's very favorite people on the planet. I'll never forget the way Tory aspired for her teacher's attention, or the way she'd move her little carpet square as physically close to Ms. Janna's chair without actually sitting on her lap during Circle Time. She looked forward to going to school every week, even on the days she wasn't so sure about me leaving her. That's really everything a parent can wish for when sending their child to school -- for them to enjoy being there.
I'm going to miss seeing Tory's classmates every week, and also miss the adult conversations during my parent portion of the class. I even felt a little teary-eyed leading Tory out of her classroom one last time this morning. I can't imagine the emotions involved with the first and last days of real school someday!
Luckily, Tory will be returning to Ms. Janna's class next fall. It's a 3 & 4 year old preschool program and since Tory is the youngest kid in class (an August 30 birthday before a September 1 cut-off date), we've elected to enroll her in the same 2-days/week class again. Most of the other parents are moving their children up to 3-day preschool program next year, but I'm confident in our decision to stay where we are. Tory's excelling wonderfully at an intellectual level, and I think keeping her in the same program for another year (where she'll actually be one of the older kids in class for once) will only benefit her socially. Tory's teacher has already committed to tailoring preschool work to Tory's skill-level, so she won't be bored repeating the same class instruction again. Of course, there'll be a whole new group of students next year so it wouldn't be the same anyway.
Tory's first year of preschool is in the books. Now, bring on summer!*
(*Which, by the way, caused Tory much confusion this morning. "But, Mom! Why is school over? It's not summer break; it's still spring outside!")