“Aren’t you sad?”
I have been asked that question a dozen times in the last month. You see, my youngest, my baby boy, is growing up… and graduating preschool.
Every time it’s mentioned, I look at the questioner with a bit of surprise.
“Sad?! Why would I be sad? I’m so excited!”
It’s that time of year when graduations are all over social media, and the preschool ones are some of the cutest. How can you not swoon over those little five-year-olds in caps and gowns, waving with big smiles on their faces? But most of my friends aren’t crying happy tears. They tell me how bittersweet it will be and how I will miss this time in my child’s life. My baby is growing up, and apparently that’s something to be mourned.
Look, I get it. Time is scary. Watching our children grow up and eventually grow away from us is one of the most difficult things we go through as mothers. Every day they become more independent, and for us, that can be a bit terrifying. I’m sure one day I will look back and miss these days. But today is not that day!
Today my kid is so excited to move on to kindergarten! He is ready to be at the local elementary school with all the big kids he’s looked up to for ages. He’s ready to not be the preschooler anymore, and instead be part of the crowd. He’s ready to be challenged and learn new things. In short… he’s just ready!
And as his mama, I’m ready, too! My kids are five grades apart, so I will only get them in the same school for two short years of their entire lives, and I intend to make the most of it. I’m looking forward to having one drop-off and one pick-up every day. I’m looking forward to having one back-to-school night and one school carnival. I’m hoping to be a bit more involved in school activities now that I don’t have to split my time between multiple facilities. I’m looking forward to a little more cash in my bank account after 9+ years of paying for preschool or daycare.
Of course, there are things we will miss about preschool. I’ll miss our quiet afternoons when the big kids are still in school. I will miss our lunches out and having my son as my sidekick as I run errands. I will miss our long conversations in the car, just the two of us. I’ll miss the teachers we loved and the friends who aren’t headed to the same elementary school.
But this is not a time for sadness. It’s a time for celebration! Preschool was good to us, but it’s time to say goodbye. We have bigger things on the horizon!