Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Off to School

Yesterday morning, Jack and I went to visit "Lilly's school."  It's really only Lilly's school for one more week before it becomes Lilly & Jack's school, and I still can't believe it.  After Christmas, I'll be dropping them both off every day. No matter how many people tell me that "he's definitely ready" and "he's going to love school," it still makes my heart hurt that we've reached another big milestone.

When we went to visit yesterday, we walked around to all the different classrooms, and Kathleen, the director of the school who is absolutely amazing, gave Jack different Montessori work to do in each room.  He screwed and unscrewed screws into a wooden block, with a real screwdriver.  He put together the pieces of a flashlight, complete with batteries, and got to shine the finished product all over the classroom.  He unlocked padlocks with real keys that he had to match with the correct lock.  He used a little spoon to move marbles from one bowl to another.  He strung Christmas beads onto pipe cleaners.  He matched colored tiles and told Kathleen the names of all the colors.  At one point, Kathleen put one of each color tile on one table and the matching color on a table on the other side of the room.  She sat down with Jack at one table and asked him to walk over to the other table, find the orange tile and bring it back.  So, Jack wandered off and brought the orange tile back.  Kathleen then asked him to go and bring back the yellow one, which he did.  Then she asked him to get the pink one.  This one was taking a bit longer than the other two, and when we looked over, we saw why.  Jack had caught on that he was going to have to get these tiles one by one, so he put them in a big pile, brought them all back to the table and handed Kathleen the pink one.  We started laughing, and Kathleen said it's clear that he has inherited some of Lilly's organizing and planning traits!

After doing each activity, Jack's face lit up.  Each time, he realized that he had accomplished something and he was proud, he made me so proud.  It is unusual for me to have time with Jack by himself, so to be able to see his determination and concentration and pure joy at the place where he will be going to school in January was really special.  I won't forget our morning there, and when I spend the drive home from his first morning drop off in tears, I am going to remember how happy he was yesterday.  It won't make me miss him any less, and it probably won't make the tears stop, but I will know deep down that it is time for my little boy to learn and discover and grow in this wonderful environment that has nurtured Lilly for the last two and a half years.

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