Today is August 21, a day that has historically been all about me. It’s my birthday today, baby girl. Today I am a year old, a year wiser, a year more secure and confident in the decisions I’ve made and the legacy built with your father. But, this year is different because my birth day is all about you. Today you are 3 years, 7 months and 5 days old, and will be embarking on your first day of preschool. As we walk into classroom #112 later this morning, I want you to know how much you have changed my life.
You are a vision of readiness. As you articulate exactly why this stage is one that the whole family should be proud of, you are self assured and so excited. You’re going to preschool! While my alert is on – scooping out emergency exits, eyeballing everyone from fellow parents to your teachers – there is no doubt in my mind that this is where you should be. Am I nervous? Will I miss you? Do my insides cringe with the thought of your world continuously expanding further and further out of my immediate reach? Oh, yes. But you’re ready, therefore, so am I.
During your open house this week, we practiced going potty in the new bathroom, we shook hands with both of your teachers, we visited each “center” to chat about the things you will learn there. And I showed you on the day’s agenda the time that you’ll have Jesus Circle. For a kid with parents who’ve done a poor job at incorporating religion into your daily life, you are super excited about Jesus Circle – and that makes me happy.
Alina, you are so smart. You are so ready for school. We’ve been practicing letter sounds and phonetically building words, so I know academically you’ll do just fine. And thank goodness for summer camp at Kidville, as their loving care has truly helped you to mature socially. Not once did your camp teachers give me a bad report, and trust me, I asked. “She is a joy. A leader. Compassionate with her friends” is all I heard from teacher after teacher. We had a great summer.
How can I ask for anything more from you?
Truth is, I wouldn’t be the mom I am without expecting more out of you. And so, here are a few things I expect you to learn and skills I wish for you to possess after the first year of preschool:
- If you aren’t already reading, I want you to be pretty darn close to reading. Your preschool has a play based curriculum, which I think balances me well, but I will likely be supplementing your academics to make sure this goal is met.
- I suck at crafts, I don’t keep pens or markers around, so I am leaning heavily on your school to make sure you are writing your name by the end of the school year. Not sure if this is even a goal for them, but hopefully your small motor skills will become fine tuned with the excess of crafts (you are so excited about the crafts!).
- One of my favorite, and inspirational, homeschooling bloggers (Jody from Mud Hut Mama) is teaching her preschooler to identify every continent through children’s literature by the end of the year. I LOVE this goal, and am joining her in the challenge. I’ll be writing more about our progress, so check back!
- One goal that I know you will far exceed is the continuation of your growing vocabulary. Already your pronunciations, inflictions and cadence mimic mine – your hand gestures even mock me! But I do hope that your ability to emote matures, and that you find a vehicle of expression that makes you happy. For us, my baby girl, finding the tool that frees your voice equates to happiness.
I promise to explore different avenues of expression with you- we’ll try sports, more dance, try out some piano. You love.love. animals, so I’ll research ways to get you more involved with them. The search for bilingual resources will continue, too. This year is all about exploration, from a local perspective, as I’m learning that as much as you love adventure, you really do love being home too.
Our favorite word to each other right now is “adore” or “adoro”. You always ask me what it means, wanting a better definition to a word that makes me cry just by saying it while looking at you. You respond with a silly, “Oh mom, I love you so much too. I love you 10-20.”
I. adore. you. My preschooler.
Te quiero 10-20 y un pedacito mas,