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    “The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.”

    Denis Waitley

    Don’t worry; I’m not going to be writing about Daisytree three days a week from here on in, but I have to let you know how Pip’s first REAL day at school went down.

    I waited until we were at the breakfast table to say, “So Pip, when we go to Daisytree today, Lily would like all of the parents to leave for awhile so that she can have some fun with the kids.”

    Pip stopped chewing her cereal and looked straight ahead, out the dining-room window, for a good minute.  She was processing.  “Mama,” she began thoughtfully, “I’m not used of you being gone.  Can you stay with me at Daisytree until I’m used of it?”

    “Of course I will Pip.”  My husband and I looked at each other and smiled.

    “You said that very well, Sweetie,” Big Daddy-O said, and gave Pip a wink.

    Pip seemed happy with the discussion.  I prepared to stay at Daisytree the entire two and a half hours.  I packed an extra snack for Fig because she would be attending as well.  I knew that Lily would be supportive of whatever worked for Pip; she had told me previously that it takes some kids weeks, (and sometimes months,) of having their parents attend pre-school with them before they’re ready to fly solo.

    Off we went to Daisytree.  Pip seemed happy to be there, but she kept me close to her as she watched the other mothers leave their kids.  Without exception, the children were all fine.  Lily’s teaching assistant, Louise, came over to us and said, “Pip, would you like to give your mom a big hug good-bye and come with me?”

    Pip just turned to me and said, “Mama!”

    “Pip, I’m not going to leave until you’re ready,” I reassured her.

    “Of course!” said Louise, “your mom can stay with us as long as you want.”

    Pip relaxed.  She surveyed the room.  Her two teachers were happy and smiling, the kids were all having fun, and there wasn’t another parent in sight.  In the blink of an eye, she turned to me and said,  “You can leave now, Mama.”

    Wow!  I didn’t see that coming so quickly.  “Okay Pip, big hug.”  We embraced, then I turned from her and didn’t look back.  I grabbed a shoe-less Fig, chatted briefly with Lily on the way out of the door, and left.  I couldn’t quite believe that I was on the outside!  I walked slowly to the car, chatted with other moms, and took my time getting Fig into her car-seat in case Pip had a change of heart.  Everything seemed fine.  I was one proud mama pulling out of that driveway.

    Fig and I enjoyed our one-on-one time together; running a few errands and taking a little forest-walk.  More than once, I wondered how Pip was doing, and to be honest, I missed her.  I’ve been away from her for much longer periods of time, but this felt different somehow.

    Two-and-a-half hours later, I arrived back at Daisytree to see my happy three-year-old running toward me with crafts in hand.  “Mama, Lily gave me a treasure!”

    Lily gave me a treasure too.  To have my daughter’s first experience away from her family be so positive is truly a gift.

    At lunch-time Pip was full of Daisytree stories.  “Mom, I liked it when you were gone.”

    I never would have guessed that those words would be music to my ears, but they were.

    “That’s great Pip!”

    She continued, “I went up to Lily and I said ‘my mom’s gone’ and she said ‘that’s great’ and then all I felt was…all I could feel was fun!  I just felt fun the whole time.”

    Talk about happy endings.

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