Sending our children to school for the first time is, by far, one of the most overwhelming experiences a parent can have. My son, Christian, spent the first 4 years of his life as a stay at home child and when the time came for him to start pre-school, he was MUCH more ready than I was. I researched several pre-schools in the Leland and Wilmington area, did several sight visits and made endless phone calls. I will never forget the day I walked into Coastal Day School to get information about their programs. As soon as I walked in, the smell of Pinesol hit me and there stood Miss Ashley connecting a new printer. I am not sure what it was about that moment however, I knew, without a doubt, this was the school for my son.
The first day of pre-school had me on edge with the never ending questions of "will he be scared? Will he make friends? What if he gets hurt on the playground? Will he like what I packed him for lunch? Will he miss me?" Miss Ashley and Miss Michelle met us at the classroom door and greeted us with a big smile and open arms. With a quick hug and a wave, off he went to his first day.
I also decided to send my 2 year old daughter, Madison, to the Mothers Morning Out program during this time. Well, 1 out of 2 isn't bad. She wasn't ready to be away from home and although we tried several times, inevitably, I would get the phone call about an hour into the morning that she was still very upset and I made the decision to pick her up. Oh how my heart would break to hear my baby cry but oh how my heart would grow when I would walk in and see her being comforted by Miss Caroline. Having them call me to explain that Madison was so upset kept my faith in CDS that no matter what, they will always update me on my children.
Christians first year at pre-school couldn't have been more delightful for him or our family. Activities were always family oriented and classroom parties always included younger siblings and parents. He was like a sponge absorbing everything being taught by Miss Ashley and Miss Michelle. The emotional growth was astounding and I was so proud of the progress he made. Not to mention with so many family activities that included Madison, the school was becoming a big part of her little life.
I decided to send Christian to the 1/2 day Kindergarten program at CDS and know in my heart it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Miss Tammy is a phenomenal teacher and the students just love her. The routine of their day has helped Christian really settle into the school setting and has prepared him for 1st grade at Belville next year. Madison has adjusted to the 3 day a week, 3 year old program without any difficulty. The school work each of them bring home always has them beaming with pride.
Each day when we enter CDS, Miss Caroline and/or Miss Ashley are waiting to greet us at the front desk with an energetic smile. When I hug my children good bye, I know I'm not just leaving them at a school but I'm leaving them with an extension of our family. Bumps and bruises are healed with a band-aid, hurt feelings are mended with a hug from the always open arms of the CDS staff, runny noses are no match for the thousands of tissues I know our school goes through and the trials and tribulations of being 3 and 5 years old are minimized with the never-ending love offered by the staff.
Coastal Day School will always hold a special place in my heart as well as the hearts of my children. I will forever be grateful for the unconditional love and acceptance they show my family.