Angela Amman

Preschool Decisions and White Envelopes

everyone needs to play in a box turned into a car once in a while
Last year I hyperventilated over choosing a preschool for Abbey.  I fretted and made comparison charts and found a school I believed to be a just-about-perfect fit for our girl and for our family. 
And we lived happily ever after.
Until our school district (and likely our entire state) decided to move to mandatory all-day kindergarten, and conversation at preschool pick up shifted to kindergarten readiness and questions about whether or not Dylan would be attending the Tots program designed for under three year olds, which he’ll obviously be in the fall.
Happily ever after shifted back into worrying mode as opinions flew back and forth about developmental milestones and socialization and sending my cute, little, just-got-his-first-haircut baby to school, albiet for four hours a week.
My mind skipped back and forth daily, my mental checklist of pros and cons balanced and even and utterly useless.  Ryan and I agreed and then didn’t and basically couldn’t decide, especially in conjunction with making a decision about whether to send Abbey for three or five days.
This morning I turned in our registration paperwork for next year, our decisions about both children sealed in a white envelope and handed over to the director of the preschool program while scooping Dylan away from the play kitchen in the classroom.
Advice echoed in my head all day, and I heard myself defend our decision to two different people.
With the kids in bed and Ryan studying, I left the house in the darkness to retreat to the gym for a treadmill run.  For one of the first times this winter, the air felt crisp and chilled, the full moon cutting silver streaks between the bare branches of the trees.
Thoughts of the white envelope flashed in my head, wind biting into my skin as I eased closed the car door, Dylan’s window perilously close to the driveway.
Moonlight shone through the cold windshield, bright and unforgiving, the cold leather against my legs inviting me to feel the pangs of regret over the choice we had finally made Monday night.
But instead of regret, I felt at peace with our decision.
He will be staying home one more year.
It’s the right decision for our boy and for our family.
Because the zoo is more fun at 9:00 a.m. when the only ones acting like bears are the bears.
Because he is my baby, and I love our slow, coffee infused mornings and the way his eyes light up when I announce it’s time to pick up Abbey.
Because he is only two and has years of school in his future.
Because sending him would have meant that every morning one of them would have been at school but never at the same time.
Because I want as many moments like this as possible:
linking up with Shell, of course!
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