First Day, Last Day

“We’re just visiting.” I say. My voice catches in a way that I really wish it wouldn’t.

I run the unpolished fingers of one hand through a loosened ponytail, while tightening my finger-lace with Brody in the other.

She smiles at me through clear-glossed lips and bang-fringed eyes.

Our shoulders graze, and she places one hand on my arm when I say, “He just turned three this fall. He wasn’t ready to go then.”

“I thought this would be good practice,” I add, crossing my arms, realizing their empty.

We follow his back as he steps towards the toys, the children, the carpet.

“He just might be,” she says kindly.

Side by side we watch him find his fit.

He sits next to a girl with tight blond ringlets. “Here,” he says, handing her a plastic oreo. Her face lights.

They sit knee to knee munching oreos and giggling friendship.

“He just might be,” she says again. I agree.

So I signed Brody up for one-day-a-week preschool for this spring, and he started last week.

My voice caught again at drop off, and that was okay.

“Brody is a good listener and a good friend,” his report read. Which of course, I already knew.

But it was good, so so very good, for him to know, too.

That night at dinner, over chicken and raspberries and carrots that he did NOT like, he had stories to share that were his own.

We each have a VeryOwn now.

And this tugs at my heartstrings, of course it does.

But mostly, I’m happy for that smile and his VeryOwn and my VeryOwn, too.

Because y’all? Two hours to myself! Every Friday!

iPhone Photo Phun

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  1. Awe this made me all misty eyed, we have a meeting next week to enroll our 2.5 year old in preschool this fall and I know, I just know I will sob like a baby the first time I drop him off.

  2. Oh! Takes me back…and he looks so very proud…

  3. I have a feeling you’re both going to love those 2 hours, for very different but wonderful reasons. His smile is amazing, Galit!!

  4. What a wonderful post – I loved reading it! Thank you for sharing. My youngest starts Kindergarten next year, and I’m not quite sure how to take it.

  5. Aw, I love this, it’s incredibly sweet, and a reflection of my own mixed feelings about the toddler heading off to preschool when he turns 3 (which is far sooner than I like to think about).

    So glad Brody is doing well!

  6. Aw – so sweet and bittersweet. Astrid starts in September. She’s already excited to be ‘big’ like her sisters. xo

  7. Yay for Brody! Yay for you!! Think of things like ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’

  8. Oh that first day, that first drop off, …wow, I hardly remember it now but I know that it’s going to be good and right for both of you.

    Yay for his VERYOWN and for your two hours, for the time to think and write or just close your eyes and thank the universe for all the love that surrounds you my friend.


  9. I love that Brody has his very own story to share with all of you now. He is such a sweet boy. He is going to have an amazing time at preschool and YAY YOU!!! Two hours alone and on a Friday…DO IT UP, GIRLIE!!!

  10. big boy!! :)

  11. Oh it’s so, so hard isn’t it?? I started Lily in February, and could barely leave the first day. She does AMAZING of course and adore it. I still hesitate watching her with her little backpack..

    Hang in there mama xo

  12. Aw, I’m glad it went well!

    And enjoy your me-time! :)

  13. Yay!! How exciting for him… and you! It looks and sounds like he’s done really well with it.

  14. Oh I am so proud of him. Way to go!
    And look at you with 2 hours of free time!
    What are you going to do?
    I know…
    Take a pee pee all by yourself, sans audience!

  15. Somedays I think I can’t WAIT for my kid to go to preschool. And some days I’m terrified of it. It’s comforting to see that it’s actually both, at the same time, for other moms.

  16. Jennifer - Treading Water in the Kiddie Pool says:

    I remember those “first day”s with my oldest (preschool, kindergarten) and will soon be going through them with my youngest. Bittersweet, that realization that it’s the end but also the beginning. I loved how you turned it around in the last sentence though!!

  17. Congratulation to you both! What a proud moment for you and Brody. Enjoy your two hours. :)

  18. Aw yay! He’s going to school. Tough on the mom, that. I’m glad he settled in so easily.

  19. A good listener and a good friend. Two awesome qualities! Good job, Mama!

  20. Two hours, such luxury.
    It is bittersweet, to suddenly have an empty nest, even for a few hours but the fun they have is worth it.

  21. It is so very sweet he has his own VeryOwn now! I’m glad he settled in and enjoy your two hours!

  22. Life As Wife says:

    Yay for Brody’s very own!!

    (And your two hours!)

  23. Such an exciting time for him! I’ve had little ones home since 1984…don’t know how I’ll feel when it’s over.

  24. I don’t know if I am more excited about Brody’s Very Own or YOUR Very Own :) xo

  25. I bet that two hours is awesome for BOTH of you! But sad, too.

  26. Love your words, as always!

    And wouldn’t the world be the loveliest place if we were all good listeners and good friends? Brody is an inspiration!

  27. Oh sweet. I know how you feel, my voice cracked when I told JBird to have fun on her first day.
    Then I went home and cried.

  28. It didn’t hurt as bad this morning when Big Girl walked out to the bus all by herself, climbed aboard, and was whisked away. It gets easier.

  29. Enjoy your 2 hours in the morning on Friday, it sounds like he did really well.

  30. VeryOwn – Oh, I love that! And this post.

  31. How exciting for him and for you! I remember how nervous I was when my kids first started school. The me time was Amazing.

  32. It is so hard to let them go – even if only for one day. Yet so necessary. We start my youngest in 1-day-a-week preschool next fall… he will be 2 1/2 years old. It is only for 2 1/2 hours 1 day a week, but it will be the first time in years that I will have 2 1/2 hours with no kids at home. I have a love/hate relationship with it… letting go is SO HARD.

  33. The first day I dropped my son off at his two-day-a-week pre-school program, I sat in the parking lot and waited for him to come out. For the entire 3 hours.
    I have progressed, and now enjoy those brief hours of solitude before jumping back into Mommy mode. But this transition from Baby to Big Boy and All the Time Mommy to Mommy with Moments of Solitude is hard.
    I am so glad that is is becoming a positive experience for both of you.

  34. That first day is the hardest day. Sending them off to their own thing. Believing that they are ready to head out on their own yet wanted to hold them so close. Definitely bittersweet. But man, those two free hours!! :-)

  35. I was happy about it all but THEN the two hours alone part almost caused me to jump for joy and yell FREEDOM!!

  36. It sounds like your little good listener and good friend was ready- stepping right in and sharing his oreos. Here’s to his new adventures and your two hours of freedom!

  37. I am so glad he like it. I love getting to hear what my guy has to share about his two mornings in school. He is learning a ton.

  38. They grow up so fast. Enjoy your time alone, it will free you to enjoy the children more when you are with them, the whole distance makes the heart grow fonder thing.

  39. Sending them out into the world is so very hard. But you know what? I have LOVED seeing mine develop little lives of their own. It’s amazing that they have experiences that don’t involve me. I love hearing about they days, their new friends, what they’re learning. It’s hard but taking it all one step at a time helps ; )

  40. Yeah for him in school and yeah for two hours by yourself!

  41. I am so far from that first day of preschool…it’s been ten years since my last child went to hers.

    I read your words and I see your bright smile next to his sticking-out tongue and I think, “I know her.”

    It’s true. I feel like we’ve met.
    Even though I know we haven’t.

    That’s what your posts do to me.

  42. How sweet! It’s so hard to let go and watch those milestones. Yay for him to be so happy!

  43. I feel sorta lame when I tell people I miss #3 when he’s at preschool. I mean I’m super excited to drop him off two mornings a week and get work done guilt free, but I’m even more excited when it’s time to go pick him up. Glad you two are practicing those smiles!

  44. ah, peanut! lookit your boy all growing up! good for him, and good for you! xxoo

  45. Those pictures are so precious! Yay for two hours to yourself, and time for Brody to be a friend, a classmate.