First day of school

About 27 years ago I took my youngest child to nursery school. She was the fifth child in the family and as with the others, I felt happy.

The parents were asked to stay for the introductory session and after the teachers greeted the children and the parents, they gave out little paper cups with juice. As I watched my little girl take the paper cup in her two tiny hands and lift it to her mouth, tears filled my eyes. All I could think of was her vulnerability. She accepted and trusted that what the world was going to give her was healthy and good. She was so vulnerable, so trusting, so fragile and I was to some extent removing myself from the sole job of protecting her. Now I was relying on teachers to do it. But how could they ever care about her the way that I did?

Today I took Abigail to nursery school. It was not her first day; she was in school last year too, but it was her first day this year. She is three years old and looks very much like her mother (my second child). She resembles her in personality as well. She is very verbal, very clever, and she thinks about things you tell her. Today I watched her string beads with a deep concentration, choosing each bead carefully. I watched her play doctor as she typed on the computer keyboard and took a telephone call and checked all of the meds in the medicine cabinet. I watched her in the playground as holding my hand, she balanced herself walking across the tops of tires placed in the sand. As I looked at her serious face, I remembered my education professor reminding us all semester “children’s play is their work.”

I watched Abigail taking her first steps on those tires, spending her first day at school, and I felt incredibly sad.

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  1. Sad? I feel happy, she’s able to learn and see new things every day. She was lucky enough to have her Savta take her for the first day (she waited all weekend for that) and she has amazing opportunities ahead of her.

  2. Wow. I remember when playing doctor was using the Fisher Price stethoscope and stealing my mom’s dish towels to use as bandages.
    Now they have “computers” and “phones.” Of course they do. But my, the times, they are a changing.
    Okay. I feel old now. 🙂

  3. Yes, I agree. When I first saw the set up, I thought it looked wrong, but my doctor uses his computer and his telephone more than he does his stethoscope (OK, now we’re talking about Dr. Nonchalant… it’s a whole different story with Dr. Alarmist whose favorite piece of apparatus is a 24 hour urine collection bottle… sure am glad the teachers aren’t modeling the play area after him.)

  4. So what is the term for the doc or doquess who uses the computer AND the stethoscope?

  5. “dockess?”

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