So, the idea of a preschool type co-op started over a year and a half ago. Myself and a fellow mom of twins, Emiko, decided that preschool wasn't for us or our kids. We are home with them and provide plenty of quality time and social outings, among many other reasons. Then it started after a little bit of planning, simply enough - Friday mornings for three hours, alternating our two homes, craft/activity, storytelling/books, and indoor/outdoor instructed play, etc. Our goal was expose the kids to a sort of a traditional pre-school environment and to give us well deserving moms a break for a few hours. The first day at my house, her identical horrified girls screamed at the top of their lungs and clawed desperately at the door for their mommy for over twenty minutes (twenty of the most excruciating and emotionally draining minutes of my life thank you very much). My kids at Emiko's house the first time? I had to ask for a hug goodbye! Uh, hello, a tear or something? This was a good thing, right? So anyway, every other week at my house the girls cried a bit less and had more fun, eventually being excited to come and barely noticing their mommy leave (now she had to ask for a hug goodbye).
I could write a novel about this co-op of ours, and how much of an impact it had on our lives. It was all the little things, the sweet moments. I remember the feeling of euphoria and accomplishment when I got the girls to finally stop crying that first day - it was my silly puppet show that worked. It was the beginning of learning to be brave, for the girls and me. I smiled wide when the kids giggled from stepping into paint and making little footprints on the paper. I learned many German words (and please excuse my spelling) like "katsa"(cat), and "ah ah" (poo-poo). And, holding back the tears while watching them all hug and kiss good-bye and say "I love you". This simple three hours a week brought immeasurable blessings, rewards, and love. Those memories and that deep loving bond will forever impact our lives. It took a trusting leap of faith and courage to be a bit different from the crowd. And, when I looked into Emiko's eyes during our celebratory sushi lunch that marked the end of our co-op, I said with absolute certainty (and with slightly misty eyes), "We had something very special and just because the co-op has ended, it doesn't mean that we will never have something special again. It means that we are capable of having that, of creating that, and it will happen again, just in another form, you'll see." I have no doubt and I smile when I think about all the future possibilities.