5.14.2007

In my pocket

My daughter is almost 5 years old, and is *very* excited about starting Kindergarten soon!! There's a pre-kindergarten summer program that she begins in a few short weeks.

I remember seeing her for the very first time on ultrasound. The little light blinking representing the cardiac motion. I remember holding her at one day old, in the hospital, trying to kiss her cheek, but she actually pulled away (at 1 day old). I remember she started crying while my friends were holding her as a newborn; they passed her to me like 'what's wrong with her?' I was like 'hell if I know...I just met her too.'

I remember going to my very first ER shift after having her. I was so *nervous*, and very torn. I was excited to *finally* begin my training to become an ER doc, but...I so wished I could stay home with the baby. Actually, I wish I could have somehow carried her around with me during my shift in my pocket.

My husband was a stay-at-home dad for over a year, so I felt very supported...and very comfortable leaving for work. Soon, I realized just how nice it was to have a balance...and actually looked forward to going to work after a period of time at home. And I looked forward to coming home after a period of time at work. There were actually times, after a busy day at home, that I was like "I'm so happy I have to go to work in 2 hours..." Sometimes home is more work than work.

I remember taking her to daycare for the first time. I chose the place with such care. I took both sets of grandparents to the facility for feedback. Then, the first day of daycare...was hard for me. My daughter is the type of girl who's like "goodbye Mommy....leave...go....see you later." But, I hung around....looking for any hint that I should take my baby and run. Leaving that day was hard. I was determined not to be a wuss and cry. But, it was difficult to drive away.

We've gone thru various schools, for various reasons. There was the one, in what was supposed to be an 'upscale area,' that had a gunman chase down some dude right outside the facility while my daughter and I were loading up. There was the big, beautiful one where every teacher had an advanced degree in some aspect of child education/development....but wasn't personable enough, and my daughter actually asked to be demoted back down to the 'baby class' so she could be recognized and attended to. There was the Montessori school...where the kids got to do whatever the hell they want to do. We were actually fortunate enough to get into a preschool where movie stars actually sent their children...which was the nicest. I mean, if the school is good enough for Don Cheadle's kid....someone who has the pick of the lot, the school would probably work for my little girl. The only problem I/we had with that school was...the other parents. I just hate stay at home moms who are bitter and jealous of moms who manage to (or choose to) work outside the home. Then, there was the school that, didn't open until 9am, and closed at 5. (What working parent can pull that off?) Then, to spend over $2500/mo (for preschool) wasn't fun. I know, that's absurd...at least to me. But, it was a great school, both kids could be together, the location was perfect...the price tag was the only drawback.

Anyway, today we went to visit my daughter's new soon-to-be Kindergarten. This school is a K-8. We decided to go to the kindergarten playground during recess. The kindergartners were so...big!! My little 4 year old daughter seemed so tiny next to them. She wanted me to play with her...but I told her to go 'make a friend' to play with. She skipped over to the jungle gym. As I watched from a distance, she seemed to introduce herself to 2 girls nearby. At first I thought they'd all play together...then the 2 girls started laughing and left.

My heart dropped. Those bitches! :)

My daughter wasn't fazed, she just continued climbing, looked in my direction, smiled and waved. I waved, with tears in my eyes. She seemed content...playing all alone on a playground full of kids.

Then it was time to go: "You go Mommy, I want to stay here."

I just wish I could carry her around in my pocket...forever!!