This week Mark and I accompanied River to spend a morning at a Chinese preschool we are considering for next year. Despite the new environment, the new kids, and the fact that everyone was speaking a language he’d never heard before, he integrated quickly into the activities and for two hours, became a part of the class.
When it was time to go, he cried. In the car he begged, “I want to go
back to school!”
Similarly, on his first day of preschool, he had no reaction to our leaving, but cried when we came to pick him up. This kid really wants to be in school.
I think back upon one of my earliest memories, sitting by the window as a toddler on a rainy day, lamenting that I couldn’t go to preschool that day (I was in a 2 or 3-day per week program) and asking my mom how long it would be until I could go back to school. I also remember the day we got in a minor car accident on the way to preschool dropoff. I was not only kept from going to school that day, but wasn’t allowed to take up my friend’s invitation to spend the afternoon at her house. I still remember my intense feeling of missing out and drudgery, as I sat home with nothing to do and my mom tried to get over her anxiety after being hit by a semi while driving with a couple of toddlers and a baby.
I have several vivid memories of the time I spent at the preschool itself. I can remember both my teachers, several of my classmates, the rope we used to take walks outside, the church building, how I loved sitting in the younger teacher’s lap during story time, how I struggled with the left/right exercises, and even the layout of parts of the classroom.
Preschool was pretty much the highlight of my life at that point of my existence and it seems to be the same thing for River. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.