Thursday, February 21, 2013

The last transition

A few weeks ago I got the paper: it was a transition form I needed to sign authorizing G's transfer from the two-year-olds classroom to the preschool room. My last transition form, I thought as I signed, and allowed myself a moment of nostalgia, remembering back to when E was leaving the infant room for what seemed enormous and vast, the toddler class.

Infant to toddler, toddler to twos, twos to preschool. E to L, L to G, we're in our last classroom with our last kid at the tiny little daycare that's been a second home. Those rooms mark our family growth as surely as the hash marks I tally at the kids' birthdays measuring their height on our closet door.

When L turned three and joined five-year-old E in the preschool room, their daily togetherness was perhaps maddening for the teachers but so special for them. E left for kindergarten and L suffered the loss of her playmate. Those months were so significant for the strength of their sisterhood. And now L and G will have a parallel experience. I'm so glad for the two of them and again smiling at the teachers who will have to bear their secret languages and invisible connection that renders all the other kids just friendly outsiders.

L had her kindergarten screening a few weeks ago. Unlike her sister's, it presumably went effortlessly. This time I didn't see it happen.  Before we know it, August will come and she will leave. So we concentrate on the now, where G is three and a newly minted preschooler, where siblinghood trumps friends without blood ties, where those two will live out their nights and their days within arms' reach and forever be the better for it.

This was our last daycare transition. Soon G will have for the first time in his life a taste of only-childhood. It will be bittersweet, as so much growth can be, and although L is surely ready for kindergarten, her brother's experience will change vastly. But in these rosy days, they unpack their lunches side by side, he always insists on pulling his chair right next to hers, and every morning they hug-kiss-push me goodbye from their shared classroom door. Every day I turn to offer a final wave and they clasp each others' hands and run inside together.

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