So Doug's been going to preschool at a local county's Parks and Recs program. He started in September for two days a week and has loved it. Half way through the spring he was going to age out of his class. Enrollment is done on a six week basis, it's a huge pain in the butt. So if we wanted him to continue, we'd have to put him in the next class up. We debated for a while about whether or not we wanted him to continue, but last week I realized that he really enjoys it and gets a lot out of it, so we enrolled him for six weeks in the next class.
One of the reasons Doug loved his class is because he adores his teacher, Ms. Beth. She's a maternal sort of woman and gets Doug pretty well. He can be some what quirky about things like finger paint. Any time we looked at preschool options for next year, Doug would ask, "Is this Ms. Beth's class?". So I was more than comfortable in letting him finish the year out with her.
We got to his first class of the new session this morning only to find out that our beloved Ms. Beth is not the teacher. I was instantly panicked, "How will Doug deal with this? Is he going to hate it?". I had promised Ms. Beth and she was not here. Luckily, the teacher's assistant was the same for both classes and Doug was comfortable with her. He seemed to be fairly calm, so I left.
I was so disappointed by this switch that I cried a bit in the car (ok, partly monthly hormones, but still). Aside from Doug's disappointment, I couldn't figure out why this was upsetting me so much. As I drove to get a much needed cup of coffee, it dawned on me. Ms. Beth has been the only stranger so far that I've entrusted Doug to. And I think that set up a bond between the three of us. Sure, Doug goes to his own Sunday school class and plays in the church nursery, but that's different. I know those women and so does Doug. Plus, I'm usually right nextdoor or down the hall. No big deal. But Ms. Beth was the first person I'd left my baby with for a few hours at a time. It was hard the first time and I think she helped us both through that transition.
Of course Doug was pretty nonchalant about the whole thing when I picked him up. I peeked in on him and saw him running a giraffe across the floor, clearly not a tortured soul. He was excited that he now gets to play on the 'big kid's playground'.
In retrospect, it was kind of a good lesson for him. He is blessed to have so many, wonderful and amazing people in his village. And sometimes those people move on. But they still helped a bit to make you who you are.