Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Salad goes to School

The Salad started preschool Wednesday, September 7.  We had talked about it, visited the school 2 times, pretend played school more often than I can count.  Our preparation payed off, for they got up, got dressed, fed and out the door by 8:15, with excited smiles.  They bounded through the front doors of the school and practically ran into their classrooms.  M and A gave R and I big smooches and S punched it out with fireworks, then asked for permission to go play.  Clearly, I have well adjusted children. 

I bit my tongue so I could make it out of the school without crying.

Thankfully, we made it to the car before the tears came.  And they kept coming on and off for the next 4 hours.  Little things brought them on - being alone in the Target dressing room, listening to adult music in the car, having an uninterrupted conversation.  Ok.  Those things don't sound like they should bring on the waterworks.  In fact, those things were pretty awesome.  But they were painful reminders that my normal is changing.  And I didn't like it one bit. 

Much like the Me and my Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad day post, the I-cried-on-my-kids-first-day-of-school post seems so tired, so passe.  But here it is nonetheless. 

We have very good friends that are homeschooling their babes.  I think they rock.  They are committed and confident that they can raise intelligent, well-adjusted, socialized children.  If I had even 10 percent of that confidence, the Salad world still be here, safe in our bubble - taking our time eating breakfast, wearing stained clothing with unbrushed hair, playing with friends who overlook such things.  Not an hour after we dropped off the Salad for their first day of school, R and I saw one of these homeschooling friends in Trader Joe's, with her brood following along.  I welled up immediately.  When she caught my eye, I gave her the "I can't talk right now, my heart - it's in my throat" look from across the store.  She nodded.  She got me. 

I bit my tongue so I could make it out of Trader Joe's without crying.

And while I admire these women, I know that homeschooling is not the right path for our family to take.  Wanting to protect your babies from boys who tell your daughter that her cheese stick is yucky, or girls who tell your son that he can't play because he's a boy is not reason enough for us.  Wanting to shield your 4 year olds from knowing who the "Transformers" are or ever seeing an episode of "Sponge Bob" is not reason enough for us.  Fearing your son will be made fun of because he still shares his room with his sisters is not reason enough for us.  Worrying that your baby daughter, who often becomes too affectionate too quickly, will be pushed away is not reason enough for us.  Dreading the day that your babies might be negatively influenced by their peers is not reason enough for us.  I feel like these lessons, which seem so big and looming at this tender age are stepping stones, to the bigger, harder lessons that are sure to come.

So I have to remember to tell my babies that people aren't always nice, but we need to be good examples.  That some people aren't blessed with siblings, so they will never understand the closeness that being born at the same time brings.  That affection may not always be returned, but when it is, there is nothing more special.  That peer influence is fine, so long as it is positive. 

My heart and mind are tired and a little heavy.

Now, I am going to bite my tongue so I can make it up to bed without crying.


  1. Big changes indeed! I'm so excited for the Salad and I think that as you see what they are absorbing and learning, you may still well up with tears but they will be tears of pride (the very best kind!). They are going to do great things. It's never easy to let them go off and be separate. I'm struggling with Michael being gone all day (despite the fact that 2 are still here and despite the fact that there was a time when I worked full time and the boys were in daycare). Keep us posted on the Salad at school- I hope they have a blast :)

  2. Oh look at them! I'm sure it was so hard for you. Did they have fun?