Wednesday, September 22, 2010
First day of Preschool!
Leo is an official "school boy" now! He started preschool just after Labor Day, and is very proud of his new status - one that brings him one step closer to keeping pace with big brother.
I really had no idea how the first day would go with Leo - he is somewhat of a loose cannon - but he marched right into his classroom with his best buddy, Garrett, and said simply, "Goodbye Mom!" He was so proud to be wearing his brand new, pint-sized backpack, and had created a dozen different drawings to display in the backpack's see-through front pocket. In truth, the first day seemed much harder on me than it was on him. The car ride home was unnaturally quiet; I missed his sweet little voice asking me a million questions. But that is my great hope - that milestone days in the future will continue be harder on Mom than on my beloved boy. Jeff, recognizing that this was a hard day for me, surprised me with a gorgeous bouquet of salmon-colored roses when I arrived home from preschool drop off.
As the novelty has begun to wear off, it seems as though Leo is more in love with the idea of school than actually going to school. He brags of going to "library special" (Aidan's gym, library, Spanish, music, and art classes are called "specials") and points out his "school bus" every time we pass a Jaunt bus. He describes the homework he has to do that evening and writes out elaborate sentences (long scribbles) that he reads back to us with great emphasis and detail, pointing carefully to each turn of the marker as he reads. He tells great stories of the friends he has at school, naming kids he's heard Aidan mention - not actually naming kids in his own class. Drop off has become more difficult, and it is hard to watch him resist something I know he will come to love. I find myself silently thanking Aidan for all the lessons he taught me in his earliest preschool days; I know now, in the long run, how good preschool is for children. I know how important it is for them to take this big step toward independence. I know how hard it is for both of us, and yet, because of Aidan, I have great confidence with Leo that I once lacked with Aidan.
Leo is a magical thinker. He has started to discover his own way of navigating through the uncharted waters of the school world. Leo lets his imagination guide him through his reality, looking through the lens of his brother's world, making the unfamiliar more familiar through the shared experiences of being School Boys. He, like me, is faithfully and trustingly following the trail blazed before us by Aidan.