Morning drop-offs are not as tough as they used to be. No, we’ve come a long way.
But every morning, she still grasps my hand tightly as we walk across this school playground. She still looks warily at the kids running around us as if on turbo boosters (and how do they have that much energy when the day is still in single-digit hours?). She still clings at goodbyes, begs for ‘one more kiss’ and ‘one more hug.’ Some days, there are still tears.
When I have the forethought to plan ahead, I manufacture some distractions. I grasp onto any, tiny activity I see already in progress on the playground and give her a plan for this unstructured morning time, suggest she get into this game or that activity. A plan always makes a transition a bit easier.
This morning, someone did it for me. Let’s call him J.
J and my girl are the two youngest kids in their class. Their birthdays are just days apart and days ahead of the cutoff. They also both have relatively new baby brothers (J’s brother has a year on our boy but J still tells me about his baby brother weekly, making me think sibling life still feels rather new to him). Thanks to this, J and my girl are friends.
As we walked into the playground this morning, I spotted J walking towards us.
“Good morning!” I said to him, hoping he’d be my morning distraction. He looked a bit lost but that is not an unusual look for a 3-year-old so early in the morning.
“I have no one to play with.” he replied, a small pout on his face.
I looked down at my girl, “Would you like to play with J?” she smiled and nodded and before I even reached the gate, they were planning and plotting what they’d play and enlisting the participation of a teacher in a good, old fashioned game of chase.
Friends. They make mornings fun.
This week, I am thankful for…
… safe returns.
… purple paint and pigeons.
… my schedule, which allows me to occasionally volunteer in my girl’s classroom, a window into that part of her life.
… dinner in our dining room.
… a few warm days and lots of sunshine.
… new opportunities.
… pink nail polish.
Have a great weekend, all. Grab a friend and have a blast.