I’m Not Ready — A Letter to My Son’s First Preschool Teacher

Dear Miss Lori,

I’m not ready.

I thought I was, but I’m not.

All summer, I crunched numbers and marketed my writing and arranged our bills just so, in order to get Bryce into your classroom for at least this semester. All summer, I practically tore my hair out because he drove me insane during the days and I just wished there were some way to get him out of the house for a few hours a week. All summer, I felt guilty because all of the other four-year-olds we met were headed off to pre-k, and I would just answer their moms with, “No, I’m teaching him at home until Kindergarten”. All summer, I wanted nothing more than the ability to put Bryce into preschool.

On Friday, I called on a whim and found an open slot, and just like that, my little man was enrolled in preschool, two days a week for the next couple of months.

And I’m not ready.

As I filled out the student care form tonight, I got to the line marked “pertinent information” and paused. Of course I would jot down that he is terrified of loud and sudden noises and needs to be eased into them. But what about the other stuff?

How will you know that when he says “I perform mac and cheese” he’s really saying that he prefers it? Will you see right off that he is exceptionally bright and work around that, or will you make him work at a level lower than his capabilities? What if he gets hurt and needs a bandaid? He’s terrified of bandaids.

His favorite calm-down song is You’ll Be in My Heart from Tarzan, but he also really loves You Are My Sunshine. He has an imaginary friend named Sensis who sometimes takes physical form in his Sackboy plush toy. He shakes when he’s nervous and he’s bit his nails since he could chew. He can count forward and back from 0 to 250 (Sometimes higher) by ones, twos, fives, and tens. He knows all of his shapes, even the hard ones that I have to google. He suffers major secondhand embarrassment when other people sing or do things that he doesn’t like. He loves the color pink and Paw Patrol and hot dogs dipped in ketchup. He’s intuitive and clever and sensitive to everything that’s happening around him, and he feels everything so deeply.

Will you see these things? Will you need them for future reference?

You are the first of dozens of teachers he will have in his lifetime. Probably one of the most important, too. He’ll remember you. The things you teach him, the words you say to him, the things you don’t.

And that’s all I’ve been able to think about the past few days.

Until now, his well-being and survival have been completely up to us. We’ve taught him everything he knows (with the help of YouTube and ABC Mouse because we’re only human), and now it’s up to you. And I’m not ready.

I always swore I wouldn’t be one of those weepy moms on the first day of school, but I’ll warn you now– I’ll cry.

Because I’m not ready.

 But he is.

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