I’m Not Ready For This

Dear Olivia,

I’m not ready for this. No, I’m not.

I’m not ready for you to be in school.

I thought I was. I was looking forward to it because I know it’s the best thing for you right now. I know that you’ll love it. I know that being around other kids your age will be great. I know all that. And yet I’ve realized that knowing all that doesn’t make me ready.

You were supposed to start school yesterday but you woke up with a tummy bug so we kept you home. Today though, you knew it was school day and when you woke up you asked if you would get to go. When I told you yes, you would be going, you lit up like a light house. You were so excited. As we got through the morning and got ready to go you kept asking, “Is it time to go to school now?” Finally, it was time, but not before snapping a picture.

On the way to St. Marc we chatted, and also spent moments being quiet. You notice the funnest things while we drive. Today you noticed a girls long hair. These are the things that go whipping by me and barely even register. In my own head the thought, “I’m a mom of a school kid. And I’m doing the school run in a van. This is so “normal” yet not normal at the same time,” kept running through.

When Daddy and I talked about what we would do for school for you we were undecided. It seemed our only option was to homeschool, but that intimidated the life out of me. I don’t think I’m a teacher. Then they fixed the road and the possibility of sending you to St. Marc to Gary and Carolyn’s school became feasible. Conversations were had and decisions were made and now here we find ourselves, the parents of a preschooler.

I know you went to preschool in Canada, but this feels different. At Strong Start we stayed with you and it was almost like guided play time. Today, I registered you then took you to your class, and then I left. Just so you know, I had to fight tears on my way back to the van. And as I’m writing this I’m pretty much losing the battle.

As I dropped you off you were quiet. A friend of ours appropriately calls this being “cautious”. You like to check out your surroundings and then decide how you’ll attack the situation. We met your teacher, Miss Kendra. She’s really sweet and very excited about teaching at the school this year. She’s from the US. I mentioned that you might feel a bit out of sorts because you speak English and need to learn Creole, and the other kids speak Creole and will be learning English. She said it was nice to have someone who was in the same boat as she was. I loved how she saw that you were not sure about your surroundings and engaged you in play right away.

I know this will be an adjustment for you. I know the thought running through your head when you got to your class was that it looked nothing like your classroom back in Canada. There weren’t as many toys. It wasn’t as bright and fun looking. BUT, I know that once you get settled you’ll love school because you love to learn. You’ll love playing with the other kids because you always do, and it hasn’t ever mattered whether you could understand each other or not.

It’s an adjustment for me and Daddy too, just so you know. It means we have to plan our days a bit more rather than just rolling with what comes our way. Who will drive you and who will pick you up? Thankfully the school is flexible, so if our schedule means you can’t go one day, it’s no problem. When I came home today and Daddy left for Port things felt so quiet. It was a different quiet than when you’re off playing. It’s the kind of quiet that comes because you’re just not on the property. You won’t come bounding in the door to drop off a shell that you found or tell me some little tid-bit of information.

I know one of my adjustments is going to be reordering my day. At least school days. It’s going to mean harnessing that time to focus on the work I have, and hopefully I’ll be able to be more productive during those times, and when you’re home I’ll get to spend more time with you doing non-work stuff.

Well, in one short hour I’ll be loading Alex up to come and get you from your first day of school in Haiti. How did we get here so fast?

This was your pose of choice for your first day of school picture :)

~Love Mom

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About Leslie

I'm Leslie. Wife. Mother. Missionary. In the day to day my husband and I are responsible for running Clean Water for Haiti, a humanitarian mission that builds and distributes water filters to Haitian families. Living in Haiti full time provides lots of stories, and as I tell my husband, our grandkids probably won't believe most of them. Maybe writing them down will give me some credibility.

5 thoughts on “I’m Not Ready For This

  1. Ahhh Leslie….time does fly! She’s so beautiful and grown-up! On those days when things are rough and they are driving you nuts and you find yourself wishing they just hurry up and get through that “stage”…and then they do…and you’re not ready! I wonder if it ever changes? After pre-school is grade school, then college, then jobs…there’s always another stage :) Have fun with all the new adventures that school will bring!

  2. Hugs, thoughts and tears are with you as you transition through to a new stage in parenting. I was fondly remembering back to your first day of preschool and feeling similar tugs at my heart….yes, time flies by much too quickly!
    Olivia is a very bright, friendly little girl and will do well and I’m sure your fridge door will soon be jam-packed with all sorts of school treasures! Hugs to you all!

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