Today was Dessi's first day of school. Not actually school, just, like, a preschool. And not even that much of a preschool, just this very nice and energetic woman who has organized a group of five parents and she holds class at a different parent's house each week. They sing and dance and hug each other and play games like red-light/green-light and learn about things like washing their hands and going pee on the potty and how one should not take other people's bananas right out of their hands because maybe those other people wanted to eat their bananas themselves.
I cried most of the way there. Other parents drop their kids off, but I sat outside the room and listened for trouble, except for the nine times that I opened the door to peek in. There is another little Ethiopian girl in the group who is SO sweet and cute and is Dessi's first Ethiopian friend. Not that those things matter to such little kids, but these two girls, for whatever reason, absolutely loved each other. They hugged and hugged, then hugged again. (Not immediately, but after ten minutes or so.) I cried. The other girl also is adopted, but her forever mom is Ethiopian, too. Dessi is the youngest by six months. The other kids were so nice to each other and especially to "Baby Dessi." So, so sweet. They would have GIVEN her their bananas had she asked, even.
So, here is our little girl now. She stomped her feet and clapped her hands and twirled in a circle with the other kids. She sat on the teacher's lap to hear a story and play with the puzzles, and she rode her little car around in the circle with the other kids. And every time she saw me poke my head in, she would run right over and say "mama!" and show me whatever she was doing. That made me cry, too. She was amazing, and I was really just so proud of her. We left early (after two hours), and she fell asleep within three minutes of getting into the car seat, and is still sleeping now.
I used to think that I might home school. Seriously. I used to think that kids don't need other kids, kids need their parents. But more and more often I have seen her face and her whole body just light up when she sees other kids. In Florida last month, I could see how much she enjoyed being around her two cousins. It was great for her. So, that's the impetus for this. This pre-pre-school.
Eric and I had actually gone to visit a more official pre-school last week, and I felt all mixed up about it but sort of thinking that she really needed more kids and more stimulation than I seem to be giving her ... and so we kind of half-settled on it, but by the next morning we both had changed our minds. Then I heard about this group, and so, voila.
It's hard to know what's best -- when you're being overprotective and when you're just being reasonable and careful. So, anyway, I was crying only happy tears today, and I think it went really, really well.
We go back on Friday.
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