Young One's days at the asilo / scuola materna / scuola dell'infanzia (I'm still confused of the official correct title of the 3 years of preschool) have ended. Over. Done. Final. Basta. Paid the last monthly fee (hooray!). Cleaned out the locker. Attended the end-of-year bash. Said our tearful good-byes. Promised to pop in for visits over time.
The teachers at Young One's school perform a skit at the end-of-year party.
It's time to transition to big girl school now or scuola primaria, which starts in our province in mid-September.
I am certainly saddened by this milestone . . . and not for the reasons you may expect. The major source of my sadness is not in "losing my baby." No, I'm not of that sort of woman, that sort of mother. I am grateful to have had a healthy baby who is blossoming into a beautiful little girl. I don't bemoan her growth -- never really have. It's impossible for me to separate the feelings without guilt taking over. Baby photos don't make me teary-eyed; they provide me with a sense of relief and satisfaction, a feeling of "So far, so good. How damn lucky can I get?" It's part of living with your glass half empty at times.
However, and this is the big HOWEVER . . . I am indeed sad. I am deeply saddened by the simple fact that we -- me, Richard, and Young One -- are losing the women: Lavinia, Elena, Marta, Arianna, Samantha, Adrianna, Laura, Chiara, Veronica, Erminia, Chiara G., and even Eleanora & Sylvia -- the 2 shrewd business women who run the show, and, especially -- Marzia. The very women who for the past five years have daily raised my daughter in my absence. The woman who have loved her unconditionally. The women who have stood in, in the absence of grandmothers and aunts nearby and who know her better than anyone in our family. The women who have patiently accepted me as I have fumbled one time after another through the Italian culture. The women whose influence will surely follow my little girl throughout her life, even if indirectly and unknown. This the only source of my sadness.
Marzia has been Young One's teacher for the 3 years of preschool.
But just like a mother whose sadness lies in her child "getting so big," my sadness also comes with great joy and gratitude. These women, each very different, have made the difference in our lives in the past five years. We are eternally grateful. (Yep. . . blatant reference to Toy Story.)
How can I ever make them understand how important they have been to us?
A little slide show of the par-tay: