Tuesday, May 22, 2012

7 Year Itch

I e-mailed the day care director yesterday to let her know that Ethel wouldn't be coming back for summer. :( *I* am emotional about it. Yesterday, we took home all that was in the basket in Ethel's cubby (mostly just crap pictures and misc. stuff like that), and found a birthday party invite from December. Yep. Never knew it was in there. Great!

Anyway, this morning, all that was left in there was her camp bag and a pair of undies. Took those out and now, there is nothing left in there. Ethel's time in the day care is soon ending, and this was the most obvious sign. After 7 years of having clothes, toys, comfort items, pictures, personal things in her cubby (moved from room to room), she no longer has anything personal in that building to attach her to it. Emotionally, she detached from that place ages ago, but, physically, her name has been on a cubby for 7 whole years. Now, all that is left there is her name on the cubby where she hangs her school back pack. She is only there a few hours a day at most. And soon, never again.

Pre-K graduation (2010).  A foreshadowing?
This is not major, but it is. Many kids today have a life outside of home well before they head off into the world of elementary school. Ethel has a history.  She has made friends.  She has an established place to call home away from home. And from now on, it will be a temporary locker at the park district where she stashes her daily things and takes them home at night. Wow.

Fred, on the other hand, still has three changes of clothes (which I need to go through and resize and get appropriate to the season), his cot cover, and pull-ups in his cubby. He has a folder that we check and take home his creations from, and he is a full presence there.  He is learning every day, practicing skills he'll use in the fall when he starts kindergarten (at least, that's the idea, right?). Still, we're not as invested there with him as we have been in years past.

It's so strange to know that this place, which we once relied on so heavily for every drop of info about the kids' days, is now becoming a holding place for a few hours, and the kids can now convey more about their day than the little sheets of paper that used to.

Their cubbies used to hold precious little outfits, diapers, bottles, stuffed animals, and artwork created by their hands, with the help of their teachers. We had to be sure, each day, that there was enough in that little cubby to make it through the next day or week. Not any more.

Mommy needs a little time to be emotional about this.  And some wine.