the earth never stops turning (a preschool retrospective)

sunrise sunset

The earth never stops turning,

you said on the way to school. The last day of school. Your last day of preschool.

It was like you knew I would come home and write about it and so probably you should say something profound in the car on the way. So typically you, my cooperator, my helper, my thoughtful one. Thanks for the setup.

And every time the sun goes around…I mean, the earth goes around…I mean, every time the sun goes around the earth, it’s one year,

you said.

Did you already know that, mom?

you asked. Yes, I said. I did know it.

(And also I didn’t know it because I’m learning it again today and every today, so thanks for that, time and universe and you, my girl.)

Yesterday at the dentist you heard for the very first time that you’re going to need to stop sucking your thumb. The dentist was cautious and positive about it, which I appreciated, but your eyes grew round and serious as you took in the news. I wanted to backpedal, to undo the damage and undo the clock and tell you you could suck your thumb forever, but I stood there and nodded along as we talked about big girls and big teeth and how five was a good age to stop.

Or maybe five-and-a-half, we decided.

When I tucked you in last night you told me you weren’t going to suck your thumb.

Not tonight, baby. I said. You don’t have to stop yet. Closer to six, maybe. When you’re ready.

I couldn’t help it.

The world never stops turning. And every time it goes around, we go around, and every time we go around the sun it’s a year. That’s what you told me, and what you teach me over and over again but I still don’t quite believe it.

How can I believe this?

This was yesterday:

first day of preschool

This was a minute ago:

last day of preschool

This was half a second ago:

first day of preschool, year 2

This was today:

last day of preschool, year 2

First day, last day. First day, last day. Sunrise, sunset. Two years of preschool, practice for real school, part-time, optional education in a place where there are goats and birds and it’s okay to suck your thumb. Next up, kindergarten.

Sunrise, sunset. The earth never stops turning.

(Even if sometimes we wish it would. Just a little bit.)


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