This week marks a new beginning for our family. This was my daughter’s first week of preschool.
In addition, she will be transitioning from going two days a week at a home-based daycare, to preschool five days a week. I will be going back to work full-time. I thought I would be more emotional about my first-born “growing up” and leaving for preschool. I have surprised myself — it has not been as emotional as I thought it would be. I did have some teary-eyed moments last week; I think that helped. It also helped that my daughter did not cry the first day or all week! She has been so excited; she doesn’t even want to leave when it is time to go home!
I was more anxious than my four year old the night before the “big” day.
I kept thinking: What if she cries? What if nobody likes her? What if the other kids make fun of her? What if she disobeys the teachers, or worse, throws a fit when they ask her to do something? What if she does not eat her lunch? What if she is the kid that is mean?
All these worries were stuck in my head. In the words of one of my favorite children’s books, “Some what if monsters like to hang out and fill up our heads with worry and doubt. They’re sneaky and quiet and quick as a blink, the words that they whisper can change how we think. Jonathan James heard those words full of dread and all those what ifs got stuck in his head.” Watch video here.
I realized that this is just the beginning.
Change is a part of life. “The only thing constant is change” as Heraclitus wrote. We all have moments when we embark on a new adventure! The first day of preschool or kindergarten, first sleep over, the first time you cross the street by yourself, the first day of college, your first “real” job. We all have these heavy moments of change, where we feel like we are all alone. We feel like the steps are insurmountable.
The trick is to take one step at a time!
The waves are crashing down around us. Your baby girl is no longer a baby. You know change is coming, but no amount of preparation can prepare you for the changing nature that is life. Changes are a part of life. Much like the playground spinners (do those still exist?), you just have to hang on. Eventually though, you do have to let go. Maybe life slows down for you and eases you into it, or maybe you just jump and get a few bruises and sprains along the way.
No matter how you let go, change will come.
When change comes your way, don’t be afraid. Know you are not alone. Somebody has been there before you. “Beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will.” — Hope Floats
I know many of you out there have some first days as well! Share your firsts in the comments below and know you’re not the only one. Thanks for reading!