Tuesday, January 29, 2013


So.  After my anti-preschool self-indulgent listen-to-me-convince-myself-of-what-I-want-whether-it's-right-for-Willow-or-not post, I've applied to a preschool.

Because I think it is the right thing.  Not full-time, not yet, because I don't think Willow could handle it, and I really don't think I could handle it, but there are (ahem!) some skills that Willow could stand to acquire.  Like the ability to see beyond her nose.  Like the ability to do what the group is doing.  Like the many, many skills that will enable her to get along happily and successfully in the world we live in, not just the one she has ordered to her liking.

But ohhhhhhh my that was a hard decision to accept.  Because here's the thing--even though I know that Willow has to find a way to bend with the wind a bit, the fact is that despite how tough it is sometimes, I really love her and want her to stay just the way she is.  Willow is a tricky kid, there's no question--she's so stubborn it's comical, she's so imaginative she often won't accept what's real, and she's so smart it's virtually impossible to get around her stubbornness.  This makes her, frankly, a real pain the neck, and I can't even imagine what her teachers will have to go through to get her to do what they want, or even just to accept that not all thirty kids in her class can remember (or care to remember) that her name in this five minute period is Flora, not Ladybug, as it was five minutes ago.  And I don't want her to go through life being the problem kid, the kid that can't settle down in class, that is disruptive and generally makes her teachers' lives hell.  That will do her no kind of good.

But at the same time...her stubbornness, her trust of her own understanding and abilities, her intelligence, and her creativity are all wonderful.  I am proud to have a child who not only can think for herself, but absolutely cannot be dissuaded from doing so.  I have done my very best to encourage all of these very annoying but very valuable qualities, because I think the traits in my child that are the most challenging are at the same time, in fact, the best ones.  And I am so afraid of seeing them disappear.

Let me say that I know--I know--that my fears are likely unfounded, that Willow is unlikely to be the most difficult child ever to walk through preschool doors, and that while she probably will learn to be a little less stubborn, and that she probably will spend a little less time creating new worlds for us all to live in, she has such a strong personality that it is doubtful that anything could change her substantially. 

But I cried the day I decided preschool was the right thing to do.  Because no one can promise me that nothing bad will happen, no one can promise me that every teacher will love her as I do, and all I could think about was sending my beautiful child away from me to where someone would hurt her, not in any dramatic way, but just not valuing her as she should be valued, so that day after day of this, she would be diminished.

I can't keep her with me all the time.  That is, I could, but it wouldn't be good for her.  And so at some point, she has to go be with people who love her less--or even not at all.  Because that is just what happens in the world.  But oh, I'm just not ready for it to happen yet. 

1 comment:

HoleyFiber said...

Good luck with the new adventure!
I think you may be amazed by how differently Willow behaves at home and in her preschool. Especially if the place is right, and teachers really know how to communicate with children. With two kids and full-time job we went through both standard full-day daycare, and sweet parent coop for a few hours a day, and the transformation of a child in class compare to at home is amazing. My second girl is very stubborn at home - and they don't really see that in the daycare class!

And most preschool teachers I met are very special people - they seem to live in the happier and sunnier universe where children live :) They really know how to interact with kids - both individually and in groups, - to make them feel comfortable with who they are and follow the rules at the same time.