There are other days. You know, the big ones, like dropping them off at college, or their wedding. But the first day of preschool? Come on. To fall to pieces over that! To become such an emotional wreck you can't do anything but blubber for an hour! Over preschool! I was seriously unprepared. I was unprepared on many fronts.
No one warned me that it would be this hard: this first tangible experience of handing over. I waited with bated breath to hear how she did. The first thing I wanted to know was if she cried. The second was if she wanted to be held the whole time. The third was whether she had fun. Yes.
But Ms. Tana also told me that "She did awesome." So I have to believe that it was the right decision. Preschool will mold and shape her in ways that I can't. I have to believe that. And it is true. But it doesn't make the letting go any easier.
Fil, a friend of mine, shared with me a story he shared with another one of his friends, Tom, as Tom was preparing to give away his daughter to a young man. Fil said that he was told by an older man that when each of his children were born he imagined it was like God had given him a fistfull of balloons. And on each one of those eventful days, like the first day of preschool, he would imagine letting one balloon drift off into the sky. He would do this at each major event all the way up to the last one, the day his child got married. He shared the image really comforted him. Tom listened and thanked Fil for the story. A week later, his daughter was married. A week and a day later, my friend Fil received a call from Tom. He said, "Tell your friend with the balloons that he's full of shit." Amen brother. Amen. It ain't that easy balloon man.