That said, we have been prepping Ellie for the start of school for sometime - working on her potty skills, talking a lot about making new friends, practicing sharing, etc... But we knew that even the best prep work might still result in a disasterous introduction to five days a week of pre-school. As her first day of school grew closer, I have to admit that I woke up many nights with visions of a screaming three year old clinging to my leg as I tried to leave for work. I was really nervous for Ellie for a whole host of reasons.
Addis was pretty excited for the big day as well
But thankfully, none of my fears have come to pass. Ellie started school for the first time last week without a glitch and she loves it. Even as we walked in to the Maury Elementary cafeteria, where everyone from 3 year-olds to 5th graders gather before heading to their respective classrooms, I was sure the fear was going to hit her. But it didn't. She strolled right to the table for Mrs. Ducket-Thomas' class with steeled confidence and quickly told me that it was time for me to go to work.
I can't tell you how relieved I was for this outcome last Monday. But I also mourned this day. As I walked away and turned around to see Ellie showing off her new fairy tatoo to her teacher and classmates, I could not help but think that my little girl was growing up right before my eyes. I know she is only three and that it is only pre-school, but she is no longer the baby I awkwardly held in my arms with feelings of immense pride and enourmous responsibility several years ago. And further, I know from many fathers who have gone before me how fast the time goes. Last Monday may have only been the moment I watched her enter her first day of school, but it already seems like it will be no time before I am watching her walk into her freshman year in college.
Ellie showing off her tatoo to Mrs. Ducket-Thomas