Last summer I felt so apprehensive about preschool... for the simple reason that I wasn't really ready to let my first-born baby go just yet. He was more than ready. We knew we had chosen a preschool that we were 100% happy with. But caring for him had been my job for his entire life, and I felt so weird about missing out on so much of his day-to-day life, of his development, and all the cuddles and smiles and laughs that he'd be having that I didn't get to be a part of.
To say our little man has blossomed this past year would be an understatement. Preschool has given him, and us, everything we had hoped for and more. It has prepared him, and me, for the even bigger step of 'big school' looming on the horizon. It has shaped him and moulded him in such lovely ways.
It's a massive responsibility to choose a preschool, a school or any place really to send your children to when you won't be there. And it makes me a little bit teary to think how happy I am with the decision we made with this particular preschool. Every single person who works there has welcomed our little man, and our entire family, with open arms.
They know him.
No, not like I know him.
But they really know him. His strengths, his weaknesses, his dislikes and preferences, the things he love and what makes him tick. He definitely isn't a just another face in the crowd, and in all honesty big school has some very big shoes to fill.
One big thing about the preschool journey that I never really considered until I sat and proudly watched my little man graduate with the rest of the preschool 'Class of 2015' is how much preschool has prepared me for big school. I have nowhere near the apprehension at him starting school, as I did last summer about preschool. He was so ready for preschool last year, he is more than ready for school this year. But while I was so nervous about preschool, I don't feel so scared about school. Because he has totally rocked preschool in every way, and I'm sure school will be the same. And knowing that means that I'm just full of excitement and celebration; at what lies in store for him, and how much he has grown.
With my hand on my heart I can whole-heartedly say that preschool has prepared my little guy for what September holds. He is so so SO ready. Yes, I know that part of that just his personality, his laid back attitude to everything in life and new experiences, and his abilities. But part of that is down to preschool, and I'm not sure I'll ever be able to explain in full how grateful I am for that. He's learned all those simple little things which make life so much easier in a classroom; about taking turns, sharing, waiting when you need to, being quick when you need to. He has made his own friends this year, maybe had his first little taste of heartbreak, kept all that beautiful innocence and open friendliness which is such a big part of his character, and also learned that it's okay if everyone isn't your friend, and that you don't stand for being treated unfairly.
He's even chosen some of his many friends to get the special promotion to best friend. When I read him the class list for his new big school, certain names brought a big smile to his face when he heard they would be in Rabbits Class with him next year. Children I only know of from stories he's told, and who I wouldn't even recognise, have gained a place in his heart. And I love that. At his graduation I got to see him with some of these friends. I got to see him cheer and clap a little louder when certain children went up to collect their scrolls and books from the preschool teachers, and it made me well up with pride.
He's growing up... so fast... and he just keeps getting better.