The Fall

Posted by on Sep 4, 2012 in Mothering | 0 comments

The day after tomorrow Piper will enter preschool for the very first time as a student. She’s been begging to go since Gideon left her when she was just two. Her words are big about the whole thing. She talks in stories and dreams about how fantastic it is going to be. She saves some bright adjectives for talking about the place and the people and the things she will learn. But I’m not fooled. Her voice is just a little too high, her tonal quality gets shaky every now and then. The kid is nervous.

She peppered her discourse about the excitement over preschool with one little question that completely gave her away. “Mom,” she asked, “will you stay in the building while I’m in school?” The answer was and still is no. I won’t be sticking around. Her eyes only slightly widened when she heard it. She was steeling herself against the harsh reality of being alone in a room full of people.

Last Friday my mother, the patron saint of shopping, bravely hopped in our minivan and made the rounds as the five us navigated clothing stores to gather up items that will hopefully not have to be replaced until spring. We found pants and leggings, shirts and jeans, a coat that Piper looked adorable in (but she claimed it was choking her to death and that she would freak out every time she had to wear it) that we didn’t buy, sleepwear for the giant baby and some awesomely on sale swim trunks for next year. New shoes were purchased today and the items we ordered online last week arrived here this week.

There are so many new to us and brand new items in the closets. There’s a pretty pink backpack hanging up too, just waiting to be taken to preschool. The newness of the stuff was always a way to soften the blow of the difficulty of a new school year. A box of new, never before used, crayons were to be saved for the actual classroom so that I would look forward to being in that classroom. The clothing that I wanted to wear everywhere was saved for the mornings that without those new shirts and pants and socks, I would have had space to dwell on relationships and situations of which I was tremendously unsure.

Piper came downstairs this morning after breakfast in one of her new dresses and I thought about telling her to save it, to go back up and put it away until she was ready to wear it to school, but I held my tongue. She’ll still need the stark reality of change softened and handed to her in a way that she can grasp and I’m sure she’ll be wearing a special and new outfit on Thursday morning but perhaps she’ll have her own way of handling the stress of life changes than sweaters and shoes. However it all works out, I am sure her mama will be proud.

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