This season is full of so many firsts and lasts.
In September Giovanna had her first day of coop preschool - I have been thinking about this idea for a long time, and then it suddenly came together when a friend started sending out emails asking who wanted to join in her group. It is run by five of us mommies who rotate teaching each week. It is only once a week, and we do a letter and number of the week, circle time, play time and activities, snacks, etc. It's mainly a chance to let the kiddos learn very basic academics, practice sitting and paying attention for short periods of time, and to gain the essential social and problem solving skills that come with cooperating with other little beings. Gigi is on the young side of the group, but besides having a harder time sitting still than some of the others, she does a great job with her preschool friends. Having to teach only once every five weeks allows us mommies the time to find good resources, plan fun activities, and not get burned out. This is Gigi on the first day of preschool.
Another new activity for Giovanna is ballet class. For years I've been hearing about these very affordable dance classes run by church ladies who have dance experience and want to do a little something outside of their family lives, and finally this year was the year for us to jump in. Miss Camielle offers a class with 2 and 3 year olds, and I think it's one of Gigi's favorite activities in the week. Honestly, when I peek in it usually looks like herding cats, but Gigi loves it so much...
We also recently joined a local Kindermusik group once a week that our friend Rachel Narula teaches, and it is one of my favorite weekly activities! It is a small family class, so parents stay and participate, and Rachel has a great flow to the weekly lessons. After each song, the activities change, and along with singing we might have rhythm sticks, or egg shakers, musical instruments, or do story time. Miss Rachel is organized but calm, and easily accommodates the not-perfect attention span of the young children. I was doing music time a year ago with Gigi at home, but like everything I do with her, it made way for other activities, so I'm thrilled to have a set time for social music-making every week.
And with all these firsts, it has made me look forward to my lasts - my last days of work. It's very strange when it becomes the last Friday... the last Monday... and then on Tuesday I am finished completely. Between Gigi's fun activities, my now weekly midwife appointments, and seasonal farm tours, pumpkin patch visits and Fall Festivals on the books for the coming weeks, I think that I am finally ready to let work go. There. I said it. It was hard, but I think I'm finally ready to let go!