Friday, July 17, 2015

Preschool 2015

Somehow, my little, tiny, first-born baby boy has completed a whole year of preschool. What?!? And while I feel like he's fresh from the womb (sorry for that visual), in actuality, he's 4 1/2 and well on his way to kindergarten.

(Insert sob here)

While sending him to preschool was mildly traumatic for me, I have to say we are SO blessed that we have a wonderful preschool in our hometown with two teachers who I'm pretty sure are saints. I could kick myself for not getting a picture of Tommy with either one of them, but there's always next year. I tried taking a picture of him on his last of preschool in the same place we took one on the FIRST day of preschool and.......well........THIS is the best I got.

So I didn't push the whole teacher picture thing. I totally understand his shyness (he was hiding because some of the kids were looking at him while I took his picture), but I get bummed because he is a TOTALLY different kid at home. He's so funny and outgoing and sweet and I feel like people (especially the teachers and his classmates) miss out on seeing that side of him, so I sometimes try to push him out of his comfort zone and let's just say it hardly EVER works out. But I trust God is working in him even now, so I just need to get over it!

Towards the end of the 2014-2015 school year, he had a few little programs. One was on a Sunday during the church service. It was optional and not all of his class was there, but we attend that church anyways, so I took him up there to sing. He freaked out and wasn't having it and refused to go to the front and sing. He then proceeded to have a little meltdown during the service. So I spent most of my time in the hallway trying to teach my kid how we act at church (and in general)!

His whole preschool had another program on a Monday night where they sang a few songs and then each kiddo was given a few awards. I was a little hesitant given the way Tommy acted at the church program, but he went right onto the stage with the rest of his class with no problem! They sang their songs (which were ridiculously cute) and then it was time for their awards.

 ***Warning-- this is about to sound like I'm bragging, but I promise I'm not! I'm very proud of my kids, but I know EVERY parent is proud of their kids and none are better than others. I'm just sharing his school accomplishments!***

I wish I would've been recording our family's reactions to Tommy's awards. Hysterical! Nick and I had of course been to a conference with his teacher's at one point in the school year, so we already knew their thoughts on Tommy's school performance. But our family....they usually only see the ornery, silly, crazy side of our boy and I think they were a little shocked :) He got an athletic award (which didn't surprise anyone because he LOVES sports) and then they gave him a role model student award! No lie, my father and brother-in-laws jaws literally dropped down and everyone kind of did the side-eye gaze at me and Nick. I'm proud of Tommy because that's an awesome award, but I'm also proud because I think back to where he started at the beginning of the year and where he is now.

I remember being SO nervous for him at the beginning of the year because whenever we were in unfamiliar situations or around people he didn't know, he was PAINFULLY shy. He refused to talk, to look at anyone, to play, to get comfortable. He just did NOT like to be around strangers or out of his comfort zone. The first few weeks of school, he would hold onto my legs and ask me not to leave before we got into school. He'd get quiet when we walked in and wouldn't talk to the teachers. He usually didn't want to take his coat off (I think it was like a security blanket for him). He wouldn't play with other kids--I'd watch him through the window and he always picked a quiet spot off by himself. Now, I'm not one that tends to over-exaggerate.....okay,  maybe I over-exaggerate a little....OKAY! I exaggerate EVERYTHING. But I remember thinking he would never have friends and always be an outcast and never "blossom." I made it a big deal in my mind.

But after a year of's like he's becoming a new kid! And I'm so thankful. He's starting to be so much more confident and friendly and open. The other day, I was sitting in the car in the parking lot with the kids while Nick ran into the store for something and we had the windows rolled down. A man walked by and Tommy yelled hi out the window. And I was like, "Who the heck is this kid?!?" He NEVER would have done that a year ago. He's recently started playing with other kids better. We had some friends over and he had never met their kids before, but within 15 minutes, they were all playing together and played for HOURS! We're taking baby steps, but he's getting there! And I'm 100% sure it's because of his time at Noah's Ark (and lots of prayer from his mama!). They've taught him so much more than letters and numbers and I love the God is incorporated into his daily lessons.

I could NOT have asked for a better preschool for him (and soon for Tessa, too)! I'm so proud of my 'role-model student' and hope that next year is even better for him!

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