“Attached is the last newsletter of the year,” read the email from the pre-school director. I could see that much in preview mode. I never actually opened the email. I couldn’t. It wasn’t just the last newsletter of the year for me; it was the last preschool newsletter of my life. Of their lives. It was the last preschool communication for our triplets; three little boys who are be remarkable to the world because they are identical and to me because they are my babies… and always will be.
They are our miracles. When we decided to go for a third child, we never imagined we’d end up with three more. We never imagined the perils of a high-risk pregnancy — 36 weeks of worry, of fears of Downs Syndrome and heart defects. We never imagined we would have three healthy babies. But we did. And, we never imagined how we’d juggle five kids under five. But we did.
In the blur of baby days, toddler tantrums and general exhaustion, we never imagined this day would arrive: preschool graduation — the preschool where our two older children went; where we made our first friends in our new town. Where we found comfort and advice as new parents when our oldest son joined the “3s class”; where we found our stride as parents when our daughter joined the “4s class”; and where we became local celebrities as parents when our identical wonders walked through the door for the first time last fall.
I packed tissues as we walked in for their last day. I was ready for tears galore. My babies were movin’ on up and I was prepared for a breakdown. It didn’t happen. Much to my own surprise, I held it together. Perhaps because there was such happiness and so many good memories. Perhaps because there was so much joy and laughter. Their teacher finally admitted that when she saw them coming last September, her first thought was “Oh God, here they come. Batten down the hatches!” This is a fairly common reaction. When people see three rowdy, identical four-year old boys charging at them, they can’t help but be mildly alarmed. But then they get to know them, as their preschool teachers did, and they soon discover that these little boys are “beautiful inside and out.”
I finally opened that email. And when I did, the tears finally came. It said:
This will be my last newsletter of the school year 2012-13. It is both a happy and a sad time; happy to see how much all of the children have grown; sad because so many of our children will be moving on to Kindergarten.
Having lived and worked here for nearly twenty years, I realize it is never good bye. I look forward to watching your children blossom as they grow and thrive under your guidance…
“It’s never really good bye.” That’s what got me, I think. Because it kind of is good-bye. The last of my babies are now done with the last of babyhood – PullUps and preschool are now in our past. It’s over. And I’m sad. But, as the teacher said in closing at that graduation, “Parents, you’ve done a great job and I know your children will continue to thrive in kindergarten.” I’m sure they will. And, I couldn’t help but chuckle as I looked around and noticed that all three of our fellas were picking their noses while these sage words were being said. If nose-picking is an indication of thriving in kindergarten, we’re off to a great start!