Today, my babies leave the House at Pooh Corner.
Last night, both girls asked for the rocking chair. It's been months since we rocked at bedtime, but they are, understandably, regressing a little. So we snuggled up and rocked, one at a time, and they told me how sad they are to leave their teachers. I reveled in the little arms clinging around my neck, and remembered our first days together in that chair. For a long time, I could rock both of them at once, one behind the other, two babies spooning on my lap. Their dear sleepy heads would lean against each other into my chest, one blondie and one brown, drifting off into baby dreams while cuddled into their twin.
My baby girls are far too big to do that now, but they never stopped hugging each other and I hope they never will.
In May of 2009, we crash-landed into San Francisco in an emergency move prompted by my mother's very serious illness. Those days are now a blur. I had transferred offices within my large law firm and had to take the California bar exam about two months after we got here; my husband was initially gone in Massachusetts half the time working on his Ph.D.; my girls were barely two; and my mother was very sick. It was a real challenge to hold everything together, and I often worried whether the chaos and stress would harm my girls. I remain convinced that St. Paul's Littlest Angels preschool, where there were fortuitously (miraculously?) two places available that terrible May, has played a tremendously significant role in ensuring that my girls came through that era as unscathed as they could be. For over three years, the same teachers--absolutely no turnover in that time--have nurtured our girls, played with them, comforted them, and loved them. I'm thinking about them today, with a heart overflowing with gratitude for their steadfastness, humor, and caring, and for being there for us all this time, day after day, with smiling faces to greet them every morning. We will all miss you.
Since they were babies, I've always read Pooh stories to my girls. They just love Pooh Bear, and they know I do too. Pooh is good to have around in a pinch, even if the "pinch" results from him eating too much at Rabbit's and getting stuck in the door on the way out! Mostly, Pooh is a great friend. He loves people without judging them, and always shares his honey. Among the lessons my girls learned during these peaceful, beautiful preschool years, I hope that's one they keep.
My talented, brave, kind, precious little ones. Watching you leave your preschool and walk away from the House at Pooh Corner toward the amazing and unpredictable lives that await you is at once one of the saddest and one of the most inspiring moments of my life.