Monday, May 27, 2013

A Love Letter to Iris's Preschool Teachers

I am not usually sentimental.  Well, not publicly.  Which might be because I’m shitty at it.  Every time I try to write something sentimental it comes out sounding trite and saccharine and makes me want to fucking throw up.  Which is a long way of saying I mostly do not write sentimental bullshit because it ends up sounding…well, like sentimental bullshit. 
That said, I have some sentimental bullshit to say.  I’ll suck it up and deal if you will.

(There, did I swear enough to retain my street cred?)
 
(Did ever really have street cred?)
 
(Seriously, if I never had any street cred, please tell me.)
 
(Because if I never had street cred, I can just be a nerd and stop worrying about it.)
 
(That would be the biggest relief.)
 
(What?)
 
(I’m stalling?)
 
(Okay, okay.  FINE.  I’ll stop stalling and get to the sentimental bullshit now.)
 
(*deep breath*)
 
My daughter, Iris, is amazing.  She is creative and bright and funny and she walks around taking my whole heart with her every day.  Sure, sometimes I find her frustrating.  Sometimes, I wish she would stop climbing all over me and interrupting my phone calls and I really wish she would stop watching My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic on a continuous loop.  I also wish she understood that asking me the same question over and over and over and over and over again will only get her the same answer, just louder and more annoyed.  There are occasions when I would like to have a morning to sleep in rather than “up time” always being so damned early.  However, I gladly give up all those things because I love this little creature so hard and so fiercely that I surprise even me. 

I would give up even more to keep having the wonderful, silly conversations I have with her in the car on the way to preschool.

Iris:  Mommy? 
Me:  Yes, Iris?
Iris:  Can my bee sleep in my room?
Me:  Your what?
Iris:  My bee!
Me:  You have a bee?  Like a honey bee?
Iris:  No.  A pink bee.
Me:  A pink bee?  Does it have a name?
Iris:  Ummmm….(long pause) her name is…..(long pause)…Sluffier!
Me:  Sluffier the bee?
Iris:  Yes. Can she sleep with me?
Me:  You want her to spend the night in your room?  Where would she sleep?
Iris:  She has a bed.
Me:  Where is her bed?
Iris:  Outside.
Me:  If her bed’s outside, how can she sleep in your room?
Iris:  Well, her bed’s inside now!
Me:  Really?  How?
Iris:  I moved it inside!
Me:  Where is it?
Iris:  In my bed!
Me:  So, you want Sluffier the pink bee to spend the night in her bed, which is in your bed, in your room?
Iris:  Yes!
Me:  Will she sting us?  I don’t want her to sting you or me or Daddy. 
Iris:  She won’t sting us!  She will only sting the Parkers.
Me:  (taken aback) Who? 
Iris:  The Parkers.
Me:  Who are the Parkers?
Iris:  (matter-of-factly) They are the Parkers.
Me:  Ooookay, but why will Sluffier sting the Parkers?  What if they’re nice?  I don’t want Sluffier to sting nice people.
Iris:  (long pause while she thinks about this) She will only sting the mean ones.

I take it back – Iris doesn’t just walk around with my whole heart.  Iris IS my heart.

And do you know what I do with that heart of mine?  For three days a week, I drop her off at preschool.  For three days a week, I drop her off and trust that someone else will take care of my heart for me. 

Which is….terrifying.

I could give you a list of the what-ifs that ran through my head when I started taking her to school starting with what if she misses me and ending with something so completely over the top and maudlin that I am too embarrassed to repeat it here.  But I won’t.  Because, if you’re a parent, you already know.  And, also, did I mention the part about being embarrassed?

But, Iris’s teachers?  Are amazing. 

When I drop Iris off, these women are always there with a smile and a hug.  And, at the end of the morning, when I get Iris back from them?  She is brighter and happier and more excited than when I dropped her off. 

They’ve seen us through drop-off tears (and let me know that they were clearly for my benefit as they only lasted as long as I was still in sight), three-year old best friend drama, potty training (oh God, the potty training!), and a thousand other things, big and small.  There aren’t enough words in the world to thank them for what they do.  But, I’m going to try, anyway:

Thank you for always greeting Iris with a hug and a smile.  You make her feel welcomed and safe and loved even on days when I am low on cope.  And patience.  And energy. 

Also, thank you for making me feel okay about being low on cope and patience and energy.

When I was in the throes of potty training, thank you for letting me know that, whatever struggles I was having, that they weren’t that bad, she would eventually get it, and that she wouldn’t be wearing Depends to high school.  Also, thank you for reminding me that, sometimes, other parents exaggerate. 

Thank you for giving Iris a little extra love and attention on the days she was weepy for no apparent reason.  And, also, thank you for letting me know when she’d had a bad day so I could give her a little extra love and attention, too.

On those mornings when, after engaging in interminable negotiations with Iris over which spinning dress she would deign to wear for school, I just couldn’t get it together to take a shower and get myself dressed in anything other than questionably clean workout gear, thank you for never mentioning that I looked like a hobo.

Thank you for crafting with Iris.  Seriously.  I suck at crafting.  I hate glitter.  Sometimes, I just want the house to stay clean.  Because you have provided her with a safe and contained place to play with paint, glitter, and glue, most of the time, I don’t have to.

When Iris said to you “My Mommy was SOOO mad at me this morning!” thank you for thinking it was funny.  I was mortified and little afraid that you’d think I was that mom who screams at her kid all the time.

Thank you for looking at me like I’d suddenly sprouted horns when I suggested that I was the worst mother in the world when I accidentally closed the car window on Iris’s fingers.

But, mostly, and most importantly, thank you for taking care of my heart and for loving her between the hours of 9am and noon.  Because it gives me time to recharge so I can love her a little better the rest of the day.

I’m going to miss you all over the summer.  So will Iris.

A lot.

No, seriously.  When does school start again? 

1 comment:

  1. Lovely tribute to the teachers. They will love it more than any tidbit that comes their way...unless it's cash or a gift card. BTW, in my school district at the high school level all of that was strictly forbidden. But, at the little ones' level, I think they winked at that policy a lot..and with good reason...for all the reasons you say.

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