But first, a quick Porter preschool update: Because of the way the timing works out, I really can’t walk Porter to preschool much this year. He’s not happy about that. He huffed and complained the other day: Why can’t we walk!? And note, Patrick said he complained a lot last year about having to walk. So, maybe he’s just cranky.
Anyway, Harlan is currently in two different preschools. One is Monday and Wednesday morning from 9-12, which is the same time Porter is in class. This is when I get the bulk of my writing done, although in the last four days, I’ve managed to write 500 words a day each day, and that’s my sabbatical goal, so things are working out. This preschool is so cool. It’s in a log cabin and there’s no air conditioning, but Harlan does not care. They have tricycles, trucks, playdoh, and plenty of outdoor time. He was confused at first about going to this preschool because he kept saying, “My teacher isn’t there” and I think now he understands that he has two preschools and different teachers at each. The first day we went for a getting to know you day, and he was pretty nervous I was going to leave him. The second time we went, I did need to leave him, and he was a little upset, but one of the teachers helped him to the water table, and he was distracted and happy. He’s made some fun art work there, and he’s done well communicating his bathroom needs. Porter saw a picture of the school and he is very jealous that he doesn’t get to go there and have fun too.
The other school is Wednesday, Thursday, Friday afternoon from 1-4, and it’s Spanish immersion. He cried on the first few drop offs, even though he was trying really hard to be brave about it. Now, day five of dropping him off, he heads straight for his teacher, gives her a hug, and hangs up his backpack. He loves his backpack (which is really Gilbert’s old backpack) and is very proud of himself now. We talk about bravery a lot because so many of the kids’ books focus on it, and recently we needed to clarify that brave doesn’t mean that you don’t cry a little if something hurts or you get scared, but that you remember that you are strong and even if you cry, you still get through the day. Porter was so upset about crying when he got his shots, and he told me that “I wasn’t brave, Mama!” which seemed to bring on even more tears, like he’d let me down. I reassured him, and we talked about how brave he is and then when we saw Harlan, Porter said, “You’re very brave Harlan.”
Yesterday, when I picked Harlan up, he was waiting patiently at the door with his backpack on, and he just lit up with a grin when he saw me, Seamus, and Gilbert were there to get him. It’s hard letting him go out into the world, but he’s learning so much and becoming even more himself. And yes, two preschools is crazy, but I am writing, they are happy, and we’re all surviving. Now I am relieved because I know that next year, we can be flexible in whatever arrangements we want for school and I won’t be scrambling to get him signed up for something.