There are moments in mothering that are almost too raw for me. Too ripe with my child’s hope and expectation. As silly as it may sound, last week’s playdate was one of those experiences for me.
Sarah has had a lot of playdates since starting her final year of preschool but, for some reason, this one was different. On Monday I told her that two of her friends would be coming over on Friday afternoon. This sent her into a tizzy of preparation that encompassed every free moment from Monday to Friday. Somehow she decided in her head that these three friends would spend the entire afternoon playing school, reenacting their morning activities from preschool. She set out to transform her room into a model of her own classroom. And on Monday she came home and spent 2 whole hours in her room, putting up this:
It doesn’t look like much but no detail was spared. She created a wall identical (to the 5 year old eye) to what she sees on her teacher’s wall each morning.
She laid out toys on the “table” for the “children” to play with when they arrived at “school”. She designed art projects and math activities…
And created student work to display…
If you’re fluent in phonetic spelling you might recognize Chase, Belle, Macy, Dordy, and Shorty. Only three of those are real children. I’ll let you decide.
She also chose the helper for the day…
All of this was done on Monday, in preparation for the fun they would surely have on Friday. Then she waited.
This was the painful part for me. What if the friends didn’t want to play school? She insisted they would. What if they didn’t recognize her creation as their classroom? She had no doubts about that. In her heart she had already decided what the day would hold. There simply was no other option. It would be perfect and that was that.
My jaded adult heart feared it wouldn’t be so.
But in the end, when the second friend had to cancel and only the first friend could play, she was fine. Not at all crushed as I had feared. They schooled their little hearts out and had the time of their lives. (Sidenote: Not every child is used to having a freaky mom sneak in without notice to snap pictures. I must work on my approach. I fear I might come off as a bit bizarre.)
With that, I’m out. I’ve been summoned to help make a calendar with removable sticky note numbers. We’re having a playdate tomorrow and the classroom must be just so.