Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wait Wait Wait, I Love You

"Wait wait wait, I want to tell you something," he said urgently.  "I love you."

One of the sweet little boys in the preschool where I work wanted me to know how he felt about me before I left the area where we were together. I was just walking into a new play area in the same classroom, but he wanted me to know that he loved me. It was important to him that I knew how he felt right then and there in that moment. That moment was his everything, until the next moment...that's how a preschooler rolls. Their moment, their right now, is THE most important. It's their everything. 

Being an assistant preschool teacher may not pay a lot, but boy there are perks. To be a witness to so much sweetness and love and the power to embrace a moment like no adult I've ever seen; to also support these precious little ones and their families for a school's priceless.

Friday was my last day of my second year working at the preschool.
Not to sound all "I learned everything I needed in kindergarten"  but I really have learned so much about kids and myself and people and empathy and love and being truly present in so many moments and letting go and more. And yup, I didn't learn it in kindergarten, I learned it in preschool.

In the classrooms I have been in, the children don't care what color you are, what language you speak, how tall or short or fat or thin you are....they just want to play and find answers and engage. All of the children are different. It is fascinating to watch them interact with each other, or not. Some children need to sort, some children need to sing, some children need to jump around, a lot; some children need to look at a book alone and some need to have a "best friend" with them all the time. As one of their teachers, it's my job to figure out how to reach each child and how to make them feel safe and happy.

There's no judgment, just support and encouragement. The only certainty about preschool is that there are no good and bad children. Every child has a bad moment, or two or three. Kind of like all people. The difference is, preschoolers feel their moment and live it and then let it go (almost always). Teachers do step in and help encourage conflict resolution and coping skills, and then we all move on to the next moments of all kinds.


We were sitting on the front porch having dinner as a family. 

We were laughing and talking and eating. Pretty soon it was just Peyton and Tim and I sitting at the table. We were talking about baseball and summer vacation and road trips and football. We were trying to figure out how Peyton will get back from our road trip in time for high school football camp. I started to feel a little panicky and upset. 

"What's wrong mom?," Peyton asked.

That's when I went all Meg Ryan/When Harry Met Sally on him. "It's going to be moving out soon and...," I cried.

"Mom, I have three more years of high school before I go to college," Peyton reminded me.

"I know! but it's happening! And I love you and I don't want you to go but I don't want to hold you back and I want you to go to college but I don't and...," I wasn't hysterical but I was a little cry-y.

Peyton put his hand on my shoulder and smiled a knowing, kind, older-than-15, it's-going-to-be-all-good smile.

He let me feel my moment. 

Just like that little boy in my preschool class I wanted to stop everything and say, "wait, wait, wait, I love you." I wanted my son, and my family, to know how much I love all of us right now before we move into the next area, or phase. That area and that phase will be good too. I know. It will be a new wonderful, a new important moment. 

But right now? This moment? I've learned from preschool, I'm going to really feel it and then figure out how to let it go. 


  1. <3 Oh, they know how much you love them. You don't have to tell them to waitwaitwait <3
    I love the preschool stories so much. Seeing the world through their sweet, impulsive, perfectly imperfect eyes feels like witnessing a miracle.

  2. And, wait, wait, wait. . . Your baby granddaughter graduates from high school. Hang on, life spins, we just need to understand the pace is faster then we can comprehend. But, thankful for every precious moment.