As I walked out of Dylan’s preschool today, I started to cry. It’s just that kind of day.
It was her first day of preschool. After a year of preschool applications, essay writing (we did the writing), preschool play dates (she did the playing), rejection letters, acceptance letters and preschool bills (they come before the ABC’s begin), we finally arrived at the first day. Unfortunately, there would be no smiling picture of Dylan with her crisp outfit and new backpack. This picture was the best she could do.
As I dropped her off at preschool, her tears were gone. They had been swallowed up by soft, fresh playdough, a painting canvas and new puzzles. She was fine. But I felt sad. Within moments of walking out the door of Village Preschool Center, I saw her waving goodbye from her college dorm. I know she’s three. But why does it feel like I’m going to turn around and she’ll be gone, off on her own adventures, experiencing her own life?
Maybe it’s just the day. Any year, especially this year when it’s Tuesday again. Tuesday, September 11th. I think of all those families, still crying, still grieving, wanting to just talk to their husband, their daughter, their brother again. To say I love you one more time.
All of us, who live with these two and three year-olds, know that some days “challenging” doesn’t even begin to describe the toddler experience. There are days when it’s hard to even like Dylan as she pinches her sister, throws multiple tantrums and seems to relish in making every moment difficult. But I always love her like crazy. And today, I felt like she slipped away a little bit. Got a little older. And it made me cry.