Surprised to feel sad

Today before teaching I stopped in at DD’s preschool to officially withdraw her. I was surprised at how sad I felt walking into the building. And when I went into the classroom to say goodbye to the teacher, I felt a tangible pang of sadness in my chest. They were between classes, and I said my goodbyes to the teacher (my fave of the two) and she was really supportive of my decision and very kind. When I left, I had to really ponder why I had felt so sad being there and knowing we would never be back, even though I knew I was making the right decision.

The classroom is lovely. It is such a warm and welcoming place, with high ceilings, skylights, and lots of light. Beautifully decorated, lots of nature. The activity centres all around with their little chairs and little tables and handwritten signs with clear printing spelling out words, names, etc. The cubbies, with little boots and coats hanging in them. It’s all just so damned CUTE. I remember packing DD’s snack that first day, and packing her rain pants in her little backpack. I was so excited! How adorable she looked running in from the playground to see me at the end of the day…

I’m not sure why I enjoyed all that so much – perhaps it was the “rite of passage” so ingrained in our culture, that “first day of school”. Perhaps it just boiled down to “playing with dolls”, just one of those cute “kid things” we do, like taking them for their first haircut, that are so benign for most people, but so poignant if you are the parent and its your child. I still haven’t quite put my finger on why I was so sad there today, knowing it was over.

But…I recognized that my sadness was about losing that experience for myself. My sadness is not for her. It just wasn’t working for her. And frankly, I’m relieved (see future posts on socialization). But the sadness today, yeah that took me by surprise. I’ll have to keep mulling over my thoughts to figure it out. Not because it matters anymore (it’s over, we’re done, we never have to go back), but just because I like to figure out what goes on in my head sometimes. Don’t you?

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One thought on “Surprised to feel sad

  1. Lee

    Hello,Your posting here touched me personally and intrigued me intellectually. I think perhaps I am at the same point in my life, and though we are all different with respect to our background experiences, we do share a gender, higher education and a similar “life path” For me, the scene you describe would not have been too sad, but I am not from a background like traditional backgrounds that may tie my self-esteem to childhood rearing. I am thinking maybe you were sad because it was a sign of an end to one stage of life and or a progression toward the eventual end of your relationship with your child? I know that I have in-laws that viewed that “first day” of school traumatically because they felt it was a sign of eventual loss and all the negativity that view will inevitably have on anyone’s outlook. I, conversely, was elated that my child boarded the bus and announced her name to each student seated as she made her way to the back and sat down! To me, this was not my loss at all, but an accomplishment of my child’s; she was not traumatized by the temporary departure she was on, but looking forward to meeting new people and challenges in her life. To me, my in-laws were selfish people that would place their happiness before their own child’s! I would never want to see my child cry in anguish just to soothe my fragile self-esteem. My childhood was abusive and very painful; this at least has given me the experience to know I would never want anyone to feel pain remotely connected to me.I hope you don’t take it that I am calling you selfish or judging you in any way. I am only trying to share to opposing views on childhood and separation. Perhaps, you enjoyed the school yourself and were simply sad to leave? We are allowed individual though and feeling in situations that concern our children. Maybe it was just that simple? You enjoyed revisiting your childhood and the people instructing at this school. Who wouldn’t be sad to leave that? Bravo on the introspection! I think we have the most to learn in life about ourselves.Lee

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