R and I spent several hours Tuesday afternoon at her new daycare/preschool. She had spent an hour or so there with her father last week while I was in Savannah. This visit served a dual purpose – helping ease R’s transition to her “new school” and helping me continue the process of letting her go.
I think the plan has been successful on the first point – R asked if she could go to her new school again on Wednesday morning. On the second point, I’m afraid it may have made things a little worse. As I alternately sat quietly in a corner of the classroom or watched from outside, I saw R as she interacted with her new teachers and classmates – or, more accurately, played by herself in corners of the room opposite where everyone else was congregating.
There were glimmers of intermingling – she seemed to like one teacher, Miss Courtney, quite a lot. And she sat with the other kids during story time. And she played with the play-doh alongside the other 2-year-olds. But most of the time, she was off on her own, exploring, getting into things, making a mess.
I know this is normal. The center director assured me that she’ll get into the routine in a few weeks, following the other kids. She may have some rough patches, even several weeks into the transition. But I think Monday will be a rough day for everybody, with R in a new place away from all her friends and her beloved second Mommy, me wondering if she’s sitting by herself clutching a Lego and Dave sitting in the city-county building waiting for his juror number to be called.
I also know that this will teach her so many things that I never learned as a child. This will teach her resilience, independence and that life sometimes changes unexpectedly. And she will learn that no matter what, Mommy and Daddy will keep her safe and always love her.