Yesterday, Ellie, Marko, and I started attending our new preschool co-op, “Homemade Preschool”. There are nine mamas, 12 kids, and it’s shaping up to be great Thursday mornings for the whole year. The co-op is meeting in the house of my very first co-workers, back when I first moved to Baltimore in 2002. Matt and Kedri were married but with no kids at that time, I was single, and now there are six kids in the mix (plus a husband for me!). So it’s been pretty cool to see our lives come back together like this.
with raincoats and rain boots because of yesterday’s torrential rains!
Anyway, yesterday was not my day to teach but Ellie had initially told me that she didn’t want to stay (because all the other kids are 2-4 and she’s almost 5). Plus I was scheduled to get together with a friend of mine. I wasn’t thinking that I’d have a free morning to myself, in other words. But then, Ellie said she wanted to stay, Marko was totally fine (“Aren’t you sad about me leaving you in this strange house, even a little bit?!?!”), my friend had to cancel, and I found myself driving home, alone, in the quiet.
Great, you say, right? A whole free morning, ALL BY YOURSELF! Well, I found myself feeling inexplicably, irrationally sad the whole morning. I did work super hard and get a sewing project completed (start to finish! amazing what I can complete without little bodies around to distract me) so that should have made me happy. But instead, I think I was just mourning the loss of our friends who moved to Cambodia. Up until now, it’s been easy enough to think “Oh, they’re just off on summer vacation. They’ll be back soon.” But now that school has started, all of a sudden, it’s real. They’re gone, we’re at a strange preschool co-op that’s a 15-20 minute drive away instead of 5, there aren’t any kids Ellie’s age because they’re all in Pre-K or K and life feels just a bit off.
And, this is weird I know, but I also felt anxious and sad because they were going to eat lunch without me. Neither Ellie or Marko have ever eaten lunch without a family member with them. They’ve had lunch at Yiayia’s house before without us but never without family. Who will make sure they eat? Will someone open their containers? Who will take care of them? Don’t they need me to be with them, all the time, every day?
For the record, they were totally fine, they ate lunch exactly as they always do (Mark = all the sandwich, not much else, Ellie = not much sandwich but everything else), the other mamas are lovely and took care of them (of course), they had a fabulous time, and Marko evidently talked the most during the circle time weather discussion! (That’s my extroverted, chatty 2.667-year-old for you!)
After we got home, I asked Ellie, “Did you feel different eating lunch without Mama?” and she laughed and said, “NO!” as in, “What a silly question, Mama!”
So, I’m sitting with sadness about changes that are good too, with missing my dear friend Emily, with not knowing how the coming year will go in finding homeschooling friends for Ellie, and also with gratefulness that we’re able to be part of Homemade Preschool for this year of transition for us.
And yes, I finally made Marko his own backpack, thanks to the Labor Day long weekend.
upon receiving the backpack I finally made for him, just in time for preschool!
I decided not to fight the “things that go” obsession (even though I do try hard not to sew super gender-stereotypical things for my kids) and so we have an all truck/car/plane backpack. Just like Ellie’s backpack, he has his initial on the front pocket and a car on the back (because it’s for taking things in the car).
hard to see but I love the polka dots of his “M” – that fabric is from his quilt!
And, thanks to my sister-in-law Nikki giving me this adorable crib sheet, I had the perfect fabric to line it with (plus make the straps)!
What’s the first thing Marko put in his backpack? A truck of course.
Want to make your own lined drawstring backpack? Use my tutorial, like I did! 🙂
This is beautiful for so many reasons! I’m glad you had the morning alone to get to see your grief in that moment. I can so relate to missing friends! Will be praying for some sweet friendship connections for Ellie (thinking future home school groups…) Hugs! *side note* LOVE their backpacks!
Thank you Joy! And thank you for being one of the mamas who took great care of them for me last week! 🙂