I put Ben on the waiting list for pre-school last fall, on the advice of other local parents. It felt somewhat silly doing it an entire year in advance, but it's a popular school and siblings of current students get priority. It paid off, though, because we found out Ben got in! It's exciting because part of me honestly didn't think he'd get in*... But when I opened the letter my first emotion was sadness. He's so social and curious I know he's ready to be in an environment like that... But he's my baby! It's hard to believe he's ready to do something "on his own."
Over the past two and a half years I've come to learn that every transition for the kid is a transition for the parents, as well. Ben deals amazingly well with big transitions and I hope that continues for the rest of his life. It is a gift. I, on the other hand, am absolutely abysmal when it comes to transitions. (For reference see: my college years, when for the last four semesters I literally made myself sick with worry over what I'd do afterward.) Most of the time young kids lean on their parents for support. That's what parents are for. But as the kid gets older, he can take more weight and I think on this one Ben might have to support me a little. The crazy thing is, I think he can handle that.
Okay, time for a step back into the light of reality. It's the power of threes: He'll be three when he starts and he'll go to preschool three days a week for three hours. Not really a huge deal. See how I can inflate things in my mind? I know once he starts I'll love it. It means time to myself and running errands without him. By that time I'll be getting big from the pregnancy, so a break will be wonderful. And once the baby comes it'll mean time alone to get to know the new baby. Plus, time for him to get away from the new baby, if he wants. We can do this. As I, at the age of five, once told my mother, who was comforting me during scary parts of the Wizard of Oz, "It's only a movie," I'm sure Ben will say to me, "It's only preschool."
*This is all based purely on them having space for students. Ben didn't have to take tests or go through an interview or anything crazy like that.