Yesterday was Westley's last day of preschool, which means today marks the first day of his first ever Summer Vacation. When he starts up again in the fall, he'll move up a group number and have a new teacher. He'll be a senior. A year from now, I'll be registering him for kindergarten.
Preschool was a fantastic experience for Westley—after the first few weeks of tearful good-byes (and sometimes tearful all-mornings). I felt like I was throwing a non-swimmer into the deep end. Sure, there were water wings and several lifeguards on duty, but watching him struggle was alternately gut-wrenching and frustrating. I can only imagine what it must've felt like to Westley at first.
However difficult the transition was, he mastered it. Each week, little by little, his confidence grew. New situations, activities, and friends (!!!) fueled his imagination. Rob and I often looked at each other, wondering, "Where did that idea come from?" Almost always, it was something Westley did or heard or sang in school. He brought home dozens of paintings, none of which I can bring myself to throw away.
Yesterday I overheard lots of parents discussing their summer schedules: soccer practice, swimming lessons, day camps of all genres. Westley is doing none of these things. His summer is not very planned at all. I anticipate lots of park trips and adventures downtown. We'll probably hit up the pool at least a few times, if for no other reason than to give me the gift of temporary weightlessness. I have a few gardening projects that I might try to convince Westley to help me with. There will be huge stacks of books from the library, and water balloon fights, and homemade ice cream sundaes. But mostly, there will be unstructured, (pre)school's-out free time.