My little girl’s days of day care are over. With the exception of a week in August and a few days here and there over the next few years, she is done. I anxiously awaited for the day when I could stop writing those checks and I wouldn’t need to make the day care drop off and pick up anymore. I was so excited that it wasn’t until we attended her Pre-K graduation that I realized she was about to make a huge transition.
The graduation was adorable. The kids wore mini blue caps and gowns, marched out to Pomp and Circumstance, sang some songs and were each given a little diploma. We all clapped, ate some cake, took photos and then went home. Of course, the next day she was right back at day care, so she didn’t really seem to be concerned. In fact, she repeatedly asked me how much longer she had until summer camp started. “6 weeks,” I would answer. “But thats so long!” she would protest. Every week this continued, until the last week finally rolled around.
I happened to be taking half days that week because Buddy had camp in the mornings only, so I could have picked her up, but I wanted her to enjoy her last week as much as possible. As much as she wanted to start camp, she also never wanted to leave when I came to pick her up.
Friday finally rolled around. I had been prepping her for this by focusing on camp instead of her leaving, but it seemed that her teachers had made a big deal of it all day. WHen I picked her up they were on a walk, so I cleaned out her cubby, tucking in all of her artwork they had taken off the walls into my bag. I looked at her name on her cubby and briefly wondered if I should take that too, but decided to leave it. I was glad she wasn’t there and I was able to take a moment in the quiet of the room to gaze around for a moment. Four years of her life had been spent here, and it was really over.
Walking down the hall, I stopped to say good-byes to some of her past teachers. I passed the baby room, which ironically had a little girl start about a month prior who looked so much like Sass that I wanted to pick her up and cuddle with her. I gazed at this little girl who is about the age Sass was when she started, seeing my little girl in the very same room, now a big girl about to start kindergarten.
I headed out, got in my car and drive to the street where the kids walked. All in a row, like little ducklings, they padded along the sidewalk. I pulled up, and I saw the look on Sass’ face. Her little lip was starting to go as she dropped her walking buddy’s hand and stepped towards me. Then one of her teachers called out to her, requesting a hug, and like that Sass brightened, ran over and was all giggles. She hugged both of her teachers and waved good-bye to her friends.
In the car she told me “Oh well if they miss me, boo hoo.” I think it was sarcasm (the force is strong in this one). Me, I cried real tears the whole way home.