Today I took Talia for her first ever day of school. She is going to the same three day program that both Elie and Isaac attended, thrived in and loved. It's someplace she is completely familiar with, as we've go there for school and for synagogue. All in all, it is the best of situations.
She's been talking about school for weeks now, actually months. When we arrived home from Oregon the first morning when she woke up, the first words out of her mouth were "Today are we getting me some school shoes?" She was excited. And I was pretty sure she was ready.
But last night there was some anxiety. She "had some tears" about going to school. And in the night she had an extremely vivid dream that Isaac (and Isaac's green hat) got washed down the drain. This morning we vascilated wildly between being so excited that we could hardly stand still and having "more tears and some sad" about going to school. Truth be told, I wasn't sure at all about what was going to happen when we walked into school and I kissed her goodbye.
So we all piled out of the car (I'm watching Graham and Dean this week while Ping does some work down here) and walked inside. I gave her a hug and a kiss and off she went, busy opening her backpack and getting settled with her teacher. I wanted to linger. I wanted to hang around in the hallway and watch her. I didn't want her to just be okay while I walked away from her. I wanted her to miss me while other people got to listen to her, pay attention to her, learn with her and enjoy her cuteness. But I also wanted her to know that she would be okay; that she could navigate her little world without me. I wanted her to be secure in the fact that I would come back to pick her up.
It was hard to leave. I missed her chattering and observations. I missed snuggling her and holding her soft hand. But then I got to pick her up. And I got to hear all about her day. "We had lunch and played on the playground and did music and had lunch and played on the playground!" (You can tell what made an impression....later I did hear that she played with the farm in her classroom.)
So it goes. She was ready. She had what she needed from us; when she was littler she was secure in the knowledge that she was safe to explore because we were there. And when it was time, we had the strength to step back.