I am four. I started nursery school a few months ago. I am still crying.
Every day for the past six months, I have cried. My mom drops me off, although I beg her not to leave me. I walk in the door, sit down at the table in the middle of the room, and burst into tears. I do not want to play with the other children. I have been abandoned by my mother, who has always wanted to be with me before, and I am afraid she will not come back.
One of the teachers, Connie, is a friend of my family. She sits with me every morning, telling me it’s not so bad. Look how much fun all the other kids are having. But I do not want to have fun. I want to weep until they feel so sorry for me that they send me home. “We’re sorry,” they will tell my parents, “but she just can’t adjust. She’ll have to stay with you from now on.”
Sometime in month six, I realize they are never going to cave in. They do not care how sad I am. So I stop crying, and wander into the arts and crafts room, and sit down at a table and start playing with a toy. I meet a kid named Bobby. He is short and definitely not destined to be cool, but I like him. Then I meet Nicole, and we rummage through a treasure chest and find two ballerina dresses and pull them on over our jeans and T-shirts. We pretend we are fairy princesses who can dance.
I go outside for the first time, into the playground, and enjoy recess with the other kids. They are instantly accepting, sensing that I have decided not to cry anymore. Perhaps they are in awe that I kept it up for so long. Perhaps they just forget that it ever happened. No one mentions it.