The other day, Sam and I were reading books before bed. He had chosen Llama Llama Misses Mama from the library this week and we were just cracking it open for the first time. It’s a story about a little llama who goes to his first day of preschool. We love the Llama Llama series and have a few of them at home, but we’d never read this one. As I was reading about the sad little llama watching his mama llama leave him in the classroom, not wanting to engage with the other children in the classroom despite lots of fun activities, I watched Sam’s little eyes grow bigger and bigger. When the story ended — with little Llama happy at his new school and happy that his mama llama came back — Sam turned to me and said, “Mommy, why did the llama’s mommy leave him at school?” I said, “Preschool is for kids and mommies and daddies don’t stay at school with the kids.” This was distressing news for Sam! He said, “I don’t ever want to go to school, Mommy. I want to stay with you forever!” And he fiercely hugged my leg.
Even after we were snuggling in bed, he kept bringing up the poor lonely llama at preschool. I asked, “Sam, are you worried about going to school?” even though he is not scheduled to go this fall. He said, “Yes Mommy, I’m very worried about school.” So we talked about it, about all the fun things he would do at school and how Mommy or Daddy will always come to pick him up when school is over. He seemed slightly relieved. At least he was sufficiently relieved to go to sleep that night.
I know, once the time comes, he will love school and being with friends for a few hours. But, it’s true, my heart melted when his little arms wrapped around my leg, stating with conviction that he wanted to stay with me forever.