Today was Lucia’s first day at nursery school. Or preschool, or co-op preschool, or whatever it is they call it these days. This was a huge decision, one Andrew and I have been debating for a few months now. We thought the decision had been made for us—by June, when we moved out here, the places we researched were all full. But I made a few queries, put us on a couple of waiting lists, and then finally found an open slot at a very small co-op nursery school that I’d heard about from both new friends and neighbors. After a tour and a nice talk with the director, we made the leap. “Leap” might be a bit too dramatic a description; it’s just two days a week, two and a half hours a day. Still, it’s her first experience with a group of kids without me around, so it is a big deal for sure.
I stayed the whole time today, not because I didn’t think Lucia could handle it but because we hadn’t officially enrolled; I’d agreed with the director that we could attend the first day to be sure the fit was right (I gave my deposit right after class). I’m glad I was there the whole time, though, so I could see exactly what the kids will be doing each class and make sure Lucia found ways to feel comfortable. She loved playing with the dolls during the free-play time; was a model student during circle time (sitting on a small rug, listening to a story—she could have done it all day); loved playing in the gym and chasing the hula hoops the teacher and I threw around; was a little unsure sitting at the little table during snack time, only nibbling at the goldfish (which she ordinarily devours by the bowlful); and loved decorating a construction-paper Clifford with stickers during art time. When Andrew came home tonight, she bolted into the house to get her Clifford to show him. Pretty cute.
All in all, a successful first day. I expect tears and separation angst on Thursday, but I feel confident she will ease in after a few classes and do just fine. There are only seven kids in the class, and they seem low-key and not overwhelming. Plus, it’s a co-op, so I’ll be the “helping parent” once or twice a month. There’s a lot of parent involvement, which is what I wanted. Of course there’s no guarantee that this will go well, but the pleased look on Lucia’s face when we left school today—when she asked to wear her backpack—makes me think this is going to be a great little thing for us this year.
This blog began in 2006, when I quit my job and sold all my furniture to move to Barcelona with Andrew, skipping town blissfully and dramatically; then we skipped town again, to California, and then, finally, back to Brooklyn. Now I'm in a rambling old house in the suburbs, with two babies and a husband and the suspicion that we won’t be skipping town again anytime soon—at least not the kind of skipping town that involves packing boxes and moving trucks.