Lucy is in her last week at day care
Specifically, we have 5 days left there
I’m not sure who is taking it the hardest: Sean, Lucy or me
But its time
Lucy is ready for kindergarten
She’s ready for the challenge
She wants to learn to read and to do math
And she can’t wait to have homework
She’s ready to meet new friends
She’s ready to grow up
But, Lucy is afraid Miss Julie and her friends will forget her
She wonders who will replace her, who will wash the dishes for Miss Julie and who will check on Miss Barbara in the morning
She’s not worried about making new friends – but she is worried about keeping her old friends
Lucy’s worried about who will wait with Jack until his Dad gets there to pick him up because that’s why she likes to stay late
And what if Jake makes a friend who likes animals as much as I do, will we still like animals together?
She asked me last night, as we were getting ready for bed, if I would still call John, Pam, and Monica for play dates or do half sleep overs and Friday Fun night even though everyone is at different schools
We will Lucy, we’ll still see them
But not all of them right Mumma?
I sort of cocked my head to the side
What do you mean Luce?
Well, I mean when we all go off to kindergarten, even though we all want to still see each other and call and stuff, someday, we won’t will we?
So Lucy kept talking
Mumma, I know you told me that missing someone is good because it reminds you of how much you love them but….well…..
She was standing at her bed side sort of swinging side to side….
Mumma? Why do we have to miss anyone? Why can’t we always stay where are? I just want to always be with Miss Julie even in kindergarten….why do we have to change anything? It’s working pretty good isn’t it?
It is honey…..
So why do I have to miss anyone? Why do we have to go to different schools? I mean I want to be in Mrs Dionne’s class and make new friends but can’t I keep Miss Julie and the friends I already have?
Lucy looked like she was on the verge of tears and there was a catch in her voice
I felt my eyes start to fill up and I hugged her
Honey you will always have Miss Julie and your friends from Wonder Years….we still see Ben and Chase don’t we? And they’re from your very first day care from when you were a teeny tiny baby
Yeah but Mumma we don’t even see them as much anymore….everyone is always busy…
He voice trailed off and she hopped up into my lap
Think we’ll still see Jack sometimes at the 99? He likes to go there and so do I….
I hope so honey
Mumma maybe we can ask John Cronin if we can meet them at 99 sometimes for dinner so I won’t miss them
We can do that
I’ll miss the Cronin’s Mumma
I know Luce…me too
In my head I was thinking I already miss them….and the Ryle’s….and Miss Julie…and Miss Barbara, Miss Sara, Miss Jennie, Miss Melissa….the list goes on and on
I’ll miss seeing the same parents every day at pick up
And I’ll miss the kids
I’m that parent at pick up who hangs out and colors with the kids or reads to them
Sometimes we stick our hands in the trays of corn starch and water squelching the mixture between our fingers
Or we mold things out of Play Doh and draw with stencils
My favorite is when the stickers, glues sticks and foam pieces are out for us to just make whatever we fancy
I inspect their Lego ships or check out the train tracks they built
One day, I played Crazy Eights with the kids for over an hour – Molly won almost every game
On more than one occasion, a parent mistook me for a teacher – but there is no way I am even in the same class as those women
The teachers at Lucy’s school have been amazing – more amazing than I could ever dream of being
They’ve been kind, patient, loving, fair and firm
They’ve been educators, caregivers, band aid appliers, and Miss Julie can cure anything with a brown paper towel dampened with cold water
For me and Sean, as parents, they’ve been anchors, beacons and examples
I’m not kidding you when I say that without Julie and Barbara, I am not convinced we would have made it through the last two years
They have loved and appreciated Lucy as fiercely and as much as we do
And they have been ever so patient with us as parents
Never pointing out anything we’ve done wrong or mistakes we’ve made but instead, gently prodding us to stay the course and be consistent
We’ve been struggling to maintain enthusiasm about kindergarten while hiding our own angst about leaving
And it is getting harder and harder
I can’t wait for Lucy to get to kindergarten – I know it is what she needs
I know she is ready
I just wish…..I just wish we could stay a little longer in the bubble that is Wonder Years
I will never know how to thank all these woman for taking such good care of Lucy – and of Sean and me when we needed it
But I know how lucky we are they all came into our lives
I can’t remember what night it was, but on the drive home, Lucy pipes up from the back seat
You and Miss Julie talk a lot
I know honey, sorry about that
You always talked a lot with Miss Barbara too
And Miss Jennie, but mostly Barbara and Julie
Is that ‘cause you love them?
You can love my teachers?!?
Of course, I love them for loving you so much and taking such good care of you
Even though I’m a handful?
Yes, even though you are a handful
Are you gonna miss them too?
I will Luce, I will miss them a whole bunch
And John Cronin and Jack and Emily?
‘cause we see them every day
Yep….I’ll miss everyone I said
I hope all my teachers in my whole life are like Miss Julie
Yeah, I hope so too
‘cause if they are all like Julie, I will learn to be so smart
And if they are like Miss Barbara Mumma, I will be so kind…and dress really nice…..And Mumma! If I
have a teacher like Miss Jennie, she can teach me to draw better than I do
Yep, you sure can learn a lot from your teachers
Lucy went quiet
When we pulled up to the house she asked
Are you gonna cry on my last day at school with Miss Julie?
I already know Miss Julie is, she told me so
Well, it’s hard for Miss Julie honey, she loves you all so much, and it’s hard for her to see you all go
Yeah….boy she sure has a lot of love in her that Miss Julie
She sure does Lucy
Just like Miss Barbara
Must be hard Mumma
What’s that Luce?
To have so much love inside you
Hmm, well, I imagine it’s actually quite easy
Is it ever hard, Mumma, to have all kinds of love?
Hmm, I don’t think it’s hard to have love…..but sometimes I bet it’s hard to find people to give it to…..and sometimes it’s hard for people to take
I like having Miss Julie love me….
So do I Luce
You know what Mumma?
Having Miss Julie love me makes me happy and fuzzy
That’s one way to say it I agreed
And magical is how it felt when Miss Julie and I danced in the rain
Will Miss Julie dance in the rain with other kids?
If she does, they will be so lucky
Yes, yes they will Lucy
Tell me about the day Miss Julie and I danced in the rain again……
So I told her the story:
A week or so ago, Lucy and I were at school late
Julie and I had been talking and Lucy was flouncing around cleaning
Miss Julie and I finally finished and I announced it was time to leave
Lucy did not want to leave
Specifically, she did not want to leave Miss Julie
So Julie offered to walk us out
She scooped Lucy up and we walked down the hall towards the door
It had been raining, torrential downpours, on and off throughout the day
And by the time got to the door, the rain was falling harder and faster than it had been all day
We stood at the door for a minute or two when all of a sudden, the rain turned to hail
It’s hail! Look Lucy, exclaimed Miss Julie pointing out the glass door, it hail!
It looks like marshmallows! Lucy shrieked
Like cloudy with a chance of meatballs I said
It’s amazing isn’t it Luce? asked Miss Julie
The three of us stood for a few minutes watching, mesmerized, as the hail fell
When it stopped, the sun tried hard to come out and the clouds opened up even wider pouring big raindrops down onto the ground with visible splishes and splashes
Julie scooped Lucy back up
No Julie, stay here I said, I don’t want you to get all wet
We’ll make a run for it right Lucy?
Lucy giggled and threw her arms around Julie’s neck
I opened up the door and Miss Julie, Lucy snug in her embrace, darted out into the rain
We dashed across the parking lot to the car
But Miss Julie stopped halfway there and I turned to see her and Lucy with their arms wrapped around one another twirling in the rain, their faces turned upward as they laughed, giggled and I think one of them may have been humming or singing – or it could have just been screeches of delight
Their twirling stopped and Julie ran to the car, set Lucy in her seat with a quick hug and a peck and dashed back into the building
I buckled Lucy in and we headed home as a steady stream of rain fell upon the roof of the car
It was loud and rhythmic and relaxing
Our clothes were soaking wet and out feet were sliding around in our wet shoes
Rain water rolled off our heads down our faces and fell into our laps
Honey! Was that so crazy?!? The hail and rain?
It was Mumma!
And was it so crazy running and dancing in the rain with Miss Julie?!
No Mumma….it was magical……it was just magical….Miss Julie danced in the rain with me!
I turned around to see Lucy gazing out the window with a secret smile on her face and her hands resting serenely over her heart
Mumma! She gasped, Miss Julie danced with me! We twirled and danced in the rain!
You did honey
Lucy’s grin now spread from ear to ear and the lilt in her voice was intoxicating
I am so lucky Mumma
Lucy sighed, leaned back in her chair and closed her eyes
After I finished telling her the story, Lucy sat with a silly grin on her face
You know how people have super powers?
I looked at her quizzically
You know, like how Spiderman has webs in his hands, Superman flies, Green Lantern is fast and green and Batman has a growly voice…
Oh yeah, sure, I know what you mean…
I think I know what Miss Julie’s super power is
What’s that Lucy?
Magical happy love! And that she can read
Wow, those are good super powers to have
Yep, she is like a super lady that Miss Julie
She sure is Lucy
Mumma, I love you the most but I love Miss Julie too
I know honey – and that makes me happy
So would it be okay with you if Miss Julie has super powers and you don’t?
Ok good – but you’re still my best Mumma
I know honey
Maybe if Miss Julie has super powers, she should have a cape…
Oh ok yeah, that stands to reason
So we should get her one….and a mask…
Should we get her a wand and a tiara too? I ask
She’s Super Julie Mumma! Not some fairy mother!
So just a cape and a mask…..and a hug
And maybe a hardboiled egg because she likes eggs
Ok Lucy…anything else?
A plane……and some new books
Ok – that it
That should do it – oh maybe a picture of me and her so she remembers me
Honey, something tells me Miss Julie will remember you for a long time to come
Maybe Mumma, but a picture is a good ‘minder
It is – so is that it?
Yep, that’s it *sigh*
Yeah, I was just thinking
What were you thinking?
I made some good memories with Miss Julie and my friends
You did Lucy….
I’m pretty lucky Mumma
Think Miss Julie is lucky?
I do honey because I think Miss Julie has one of the best jobs in the world
Yeah….but so do you Mumma
Oh honey, that’s sweet but my job isn’t that great
Yes it is Mumma! Don’t say that!
Honey, Mummy’s jobs is sort of….well….
Mumma! she yells
YOUR JOB AS MY MUMMA IS THE BESTEST JOB N THE WHOLE WORLD AND DON’T YOU
I won’t Lucy, I won’t ever forget it
Thanks for reminding me
And thank you Wonder Years – thank you for taking such good care of all three of us