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Fayette-Mom: Preschool goodbyes

Posted May 9, 2011

Jennifer Joyner

This month marks the end of an era for me as a mom, and I must admit, I’m having a hard time letting go.

My five-year-old son is in his last weeks at preschool. We just participated in our last Easter Egg hunt and Mother’s Day Tea. Soon, it will be the last Water Day, the final Pizza Day, and alas, Graduation.

The lump in my throat started forming around Christmas as it dawned on me that we were on a year-long tour of farewells. And while I certainly didn’t mind skipping the registration fees for next year’s classes, I got a little misty-eyed when I realized the sign-up tables were not meant for me. My child would no longer be a preschooler.

I can’t really put into words how much preschool has meant to my kids and, almost as important, to me as a mother. Yes, my children learned their letters and numbers, but I learned so much more. The advice I’ve gotten from the teachers has seen me through the challenges, and the fellowship I’ve enjoyed with the other moms has truly been a lifeline. Big-kid school? It’s just not the same.

Eli is more than ready to start kindergarten. Ever since Beginner’s Day a few weeks ago, all he can talk about is learning to read and getting to ride the bus. I know this is the way things are supposed to go, and he couldn’t be more prepared. I just wish my heart felt ready.

I didn’t go through this when my daughter graduated preschool. I knew I still had years of Thanksgiving Feasts and Cookies and Carols events ahead of me with Eli. Now I can’t believe how fast those years have gone by — I blinked, and now my boy is done.

I know there are plenty of fun things still ahead, and I look forward to all the “Kindergarten firsts” we’ll have next year. But if you see me looking a little melancholy this month, you’ll understand. It’s time to say goodbye to preschool, whether this mom is ready or not.

Jennifer is a mom of two and WRAL-TV assignment editor in Fayetteville. Her food obsession memoir, “Designated Fat Girl,” came out in September. Read more about Jennifer and her book on her website. Find her here on Go Ask Mom on Tuesdays.



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  • margaretted May 10, 2011

    I am a kindergarten teacher as well as a mommmy of a preschooler. I am definitely not trying to rush my daughter's life away but just wait until your big kindergartener starts reading all those stories to you that you once read to him. That's one proud moment there :) Of course, that's no reason for you to stop reading to him as well!

  • mrsbowen May 10, 2011

    Don't start on me yet! My eldest is going to begin his final year of preschool next year, even though he is nearly 5. He has a late birthday. I'm already on the "tear-stain-train". I'm not ready for big-kid school.

  • bikely May 10, 2011

    My youngest was a big kindergartener this year. I felt exactly like Jennifer last year as we finished out our 7th year at the same preschool (2 kids)! Different ages are special in there own way, but preschoolers are the sweetest and the cutest! Man, I do miss my cute little ones; who are these tall, gangly, stinky kids that now live in their rooms?

  • Amomoftwo May 10, 2011

    As a 20+ year veteran working with preschools around the country, I can't thank you enough for this blog posting. Often, preschool teachers and directors only get bad press from parents...and to read the impact it has made on your life was wonderful.