For all my whimpering of Babyhood vs. Toddlerdom on this blog, Grace has made the official transition at school.
Yeah, sure it's 6 months late, but her move from the baby (Bunny) room to the toddler (Pooh Bear) room is huge. She is once again the little kid, but I know she can hold her own.
She now can run in manic circles, which is what she was doing when I picked up yesterday, willy-nilly without worry of crushing small, helpless hands resting on the floor. She is now in an atmosphere of straw cups instead of bottles. She eats at a miniature table with her friends instead of being strapped into a highchair. She sleeps on a little cot instead of pinned down in a swing.
Most of all, she gets new teachers. For the most part, I think her infant room protectors did a fantastic job. For the most part. I know they've loved her with all their heart. I know they are sad to see her go.
Now, she get Mrs. Hagi. All of my daycare mama friends got to know Mrs. Hagi under freer circumstances 3 years ago. Grace and I only got her love for a few months before the Director decided to put her in the toddler room. In those couple of months though, I quickly learned why Hagi is so beloved.
Mrs. Hagi is one of the most beautiful people I have ever known. She is a practicing Muslim, who dresses conservatively and wears a hijab, so I don't really think about her physical appearance when I think of her beauty. (Although she certainly is beautiful without a lick of makeup.)
Hagi emits an inner glow. A warmth and compassion you can see from a mile away. She loves instantly with her whole heart and without pretence. She is the type who cries herself when she sees the tears of another.
And now Gracie gets her.
While I know Grace will have few memories from this time in her life, I hope she remembers Hagi. I hope she remembers a teacher that does not think twice about lying on the floor next to a tiny cot, during the few minutes she gets to herself during the day, to help a child sleep comfortably. I hope she remembers a teacher that lights up around her students and never tires of their antics. I hope she remembers all the hugs she will receive in the coming months.
I know I will.