I dropped Ava off at preschool this morning, the smile on her face as wide and bright as the sunshiny yellow shirt she was wearing. She was a ray of light walking in, garnering smiles from everyone she met eyes with.
|Ava's first day of school...yes, she's torturing her sister as usual...the funny part is she doesn't even realize she's doing it sometimes!!! Ella's going to be one tough cookie...|
What a difference from last year.
Perhaps you remember the saga we had last year with preschool. I enrolled her in the preschool offered by our church-- a wonderful school, with loving teachers, very well organized and attended by the children of a significant number of moms that I know, hence a whole bunch of little girls she knew too.
None of it mattered.
She cried, she clung, she was sad and removed. For the first couple of weeks it started the morning of..."Mommy, I don't want to go. I don't want to go. I don't want to go." As we would pull into the parking lot, her face would fall, as we walked through the doors the tears began.
I left in tears many of those first days.
Am I doing the right thing? She needs the socialization. So many other kids her age are in preschool and LOVE it.
We persisted for several more weeks-- 6 total actually.
The pleading and the tears began to surface the night before, and then the entire morning of, and the entire ride there and then crying when I left.
Something was nagging, something was prodding, something was saying....It's not worth it Lisa...she's so little, so young, she may hate school for the rest of her life (or not), why start this battle now...you're home with Ella anyway, it's a struggle to get everyone ready and out the door and drive the 20+ minutes to have her there by 9 a.m. Why are you doing this?
That little voice was completely, absolutely, 100% correct.
It wasn't the right time for her and my mommy intuition was guiding me along.
I pulled her out and we had a much more relaxed year at home. Earlier this year (late spring) as the preschool decision loomed again, I was forced to answer the questions all over again.
Is she ready? Where should I send her? 2 days or 3?
In the end I chose to send her to another wonderful church a little bit closer to home. Her class starts at 9:30 and it takes us about 12 minutes to drive there (as opposed to the 20-25 from last year)-- this means that we all have a good extra 45 minutes or so in the morning and it makes ALL the difference.
They only offer a 3 day program for 4 year olds and at first I was hesitant, but I figured the consistency of the 3 days would help provide a semblance of structure for getting up, getting ready and heading to school that will benefit us next year. She also attended the playschool at this church last year so A) she was used to the environment and pretty comfortable there and B) I would be able to still drop Ella off at playschool...which is how I'm writing this post right now!!! (Smile!).
Addmitedly I was also slightly sad that she would not be going to school with the handful of little girls she already knew from church, whose moms I already have relationships with...
None of that matters to her.
Isn't it funny, the things that are best for our kids are sometimes not the same things that matter to us.
And, perhaps most importantly for me she is happy, safe and content...she smiles when I drop her off and when I pick her up. I LOVE her teacher. She greets every child with a smile and hug and an "I'm SO glad you're here today." I get teary just thinking about it...about how God brings lovely, wonderful people into our lives, our children's lives, to walk alongside them and love them right along with us.
In my MOPS group this year we are talking about "Momsense" the idea that when a woman, a mom, begins to combine her own intuition and her common sense that she begins to discover her Momsense.
I get it...I'm developing it...and it's so true that as you begin to trust your Momsense that you grow more confident in your parenting, in your decisions and in your willingness to choose what is best for you and YOUR child.
Of course, an essential part of developing this Momsense is a commitment to prayer...prayers for wisdom, for understanding, for direction...as we pray, as we trust, as we step forward and listen to those little nagging voices we begin to become the moms that God has created us to be.
It's pretty cool how it all happens...how it all seems meant to be...because God knows us (He created us) and He knows our children (He created them too!)...He's been developing what we need to give them what they need all along the way and is now adding in a little "Momsense" to make the journey sweeter. And for that I feel filled and blessed and grateful this morning.
So...my encouragement to you if you are in the midst of some parenting questions, or a hard season with your child-- pray about it, watch for clues from your child and then when all is said and done, trust your intuition about what you think is the right decision...chances are, it probably is.