Winner of the Preschool Giveaway!

Congratulations to TRACY!
I had Aaron and Jessica pick the winner since I knew all the entries personally. I read them anonymously to them and had them pick their favorite story. The dog won out!
Tracy, email me at jodi(at)jodimichelle(dot)com to claim your prize. Way to go!
So I loved hearing the stories – and after reading them last night to Aaron we talked a bit about my next giveaway and if I should ask another question or just have people leave comments, thinking I might get a few more entries – but in the end we decided the story was so much fun. The next giveaway will be a little longer so more people have a chance to enter – and you guys, I’m dieing just keeping this a secret. IT. IS. AWESOME.
Here’s my most memorable first day of school:
It was the first day to my Junior/Senior year, which I combined to finish high school early and I combined them by being home schooled through Teenworks and early admission into our Community College. I spent the summer trying to figure out a way to finish high school early and when I got my schedule and saw that almost half my day was a study hall we tried to fill them with senior classes so I could graduate – but they didn’t let me do that. So I figured out how to do it on my own. I needed to get out of my high school – if I had stayed there I’m fairly certain I would have ended up in a very unhappy place in my adult life. With someone I didn’t love and didn’t know how to untangle myself from.
The morning of my first classes – I remember picking out my outfit and gathering all my books in my bag. I had directions written out for the way to get to my building and stood by the front door as my mom took a picture of me – which I coined, The First Day of the Rest of My Life. It truly was the first day of the rest of my life and the feeling of control over my future was intoxicating. Something I had been trying to grasp for a long time but just kept drowning in the peer pressure of what “everyone else was doing”. That year was probably the best of my school career. It wasn’t without trials or mistakes, by any means, but it was the first in my pre-adult life that I felt like I was finally contributing to my goal list, finally up to par with making some of my own decisions. Finally doing what I so badly wanted to – Grow up.
Jessica’s first day of preschool was awesome. She wasn’t timid (surprised?) and got right into it when we dropped her off – putting her bag in her locker and heading right for the books. We couldn’t read them, they’re all in Spanish, but we looked at the pictures and waited for a few other of her classmates to show up. When they started to arrive we took our last pictures and left her. Walking out of that school without Jessica, knowing she was in her preschool class opening her eyes and her heart to the world around her was one of the hardest things I’ve done as her mom. I’ve always been there for those moments with her – I’ve always watched as she connected what she saw with what she felt and was able to help her explain those emotions if I could see confusion on her face.
For the first time I had to trust another person, another woman, with that task for my child. With the same loving-attentiveness, the same patience, the same passion for her growth and well-being. Yesterday came so fast in the time line of her life. It was here and then gone before I knew it. I cried on the way home as Aaron held my hand and told me how proud he was of me, and of Jessica, our beautiful big girl.
When we went to pick her up, we were early (!!) and then listened as her class sang a song – we’re thinking it’s the clean up song, but again – in Spanish, can’t understand it, and watched as she worked with her classmates to pick up the toys and books they had used that morning. All of a sudden they were lined up at the door and I wasn’t even paying attention because in a flash here comes Jessica, running into me and bear hugging my legs. She was warm, like she was sweating from playing and I couldn’t get down to her level fast enough to hug her back, kiss her and tell her how proud I was of her.
She was all smiles. We talked to her teacher for a second and heard that Jessica was quite the comedian – proclaiming that she was “the leader!!”. Our hearts were bursting.
We took her out for a celebratory lunch to Subway (her favorite) and then came home for the rest of the day. She can’t wait to go again but is also OK with the fact that she doesn’t go every day.
Our little family just made a huge step forward – and I’m so happy we all did it together.

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