I stood on the playground breathing warm air into my freezing cold hands. Beth, the saint-like preschool teacher stood command at the door scanning the crowd for familiar faces. She spotted a parent, called out a child's name and opened the door. The little girl ran from the school. "Mooooommmmmy!!!" she yelled, all the way down the walkway until she reached her mom, and jumped into her arms. I smiled, and turned to Violet's door to wait for her class. I'd been in my car a few minutes before and watched Violet play outside with her friends. I love watching her play when she doesn't know I'm there. I get to see School Violet. The person she becomes after I drop her off and she's on her own. It's the personality formed by her home life that gets road tested on the playground. I watched her run around, call to her friends and laugh.
Four years old might be the best age. It just seems like the best of both worlds. At four, my kids were mostly independent. They could use the bathroom, get a juice box, and carry on a conversation. Granted, it was mostly about what clouds taste like or does Cinderella ever go poop, but still, a conversation none the less. Yet at four, they are still your baby. They still like to be snuggled and kissed. They still need you, but they don't rely on you every second of the day. And they still really like you. Sure, my seven year old is happy to see me pick her up at school. She gives me a hug, but the level of ethusiam is different. She's a first grader and knows I'll be there to get her every day. The preschoolers always act so amazed that their parents are waiting for them. They never expect that when the door opens mom will be standing there.
Joanne opens the school door and scans the crowd. She see me and calls to Violet. Violet comes outside and yells "Moooooommmmmmyyyyy!!" all the way to me where I picked her up and give her a kiss.
It has to be the best age if you can make them insanely happy just by showing up.