Every year, Sister's preschool has an end of year program. Each class is sitting on the stage and takes their turn singing a song that they've practiced for the parents. At the end of the program, each child walks to a microphone and says their first and last name before exiting the stage.
Last year, Sister's teacher asked us to talk to her and encourage her to say her name in the mic at the program because she was so shy at the practices that she just didn't want to do it. We talked about it and came up with the plan to make sure she was sitting next to her friend who was really outgoing rather than the one that was really shy and also struggling with the name saying. The plan worked and Sister said her name at the end of the program! We were so proud and it's been something she has talked about since.
"Remember that time last year when I said my name at the microphone? That was so cool."
We do remember. What I remember most was that the second I heard her name over the speaker from a voice full of confidence and pride, I realized how much she'd grown without my permission.
Until that moment, she was still a toddler in my eyes. Sure, she was almost four but she was still undoubtedly my baby. Something clicked for me that night and I knew she was no longer a baby.
Tears came to my eyes and I cried. I was so proud and happy for her. I'd be lying if I didn't tell you that a small part of me was also sad at the thought of her independence.
We had teacher conferences with her teacher last week. Her teacher this year is an amazing woman. She's bright and bubbly and oozes love on every single kid in that class. Not an easy feat, if you ask me, since many of those kids are oozing things on their own. And, it ain't love. At the conference, her teacher reminded us that the program was coming up. I braced myself for the speech about how we needed to talk to her about how important it was to speak into the microphone and say her name.
"I'm hoping to sit Sister next to one of the kids in the class who seems to be really shy about being on stage. He seems to be more willing to say his name with her next to him since she's so confident."
Yes, she's grown so much since last year. I'm both beaming and sobbing on the inside as we prepare for her very last year of preschool to come to an end. Why can't she be almost five for just a little longer?