“Lucy baby, smile for me, it’s your first day of preschool!” The little girl stood stubborn trying hard as she may to ignore the very tall man holding the camera. She didn’t want to go to preschool. She didn’t want to go at all.
“No daddy, preschool is stupid, and I am not going.” She annunciated every word carefully emphasizing her finality on the situation. She turned to face him with a huge pout and he snapped a picture, much to her displeasure.
“You have to go, mama, we want you to grow up super smart, and preschool is the first step to being the smartest bestest kid on the planet.” Michael tried to coax her into a smile, she had been adamant all weekend that she was “absolutely positively not going.” Lucy’s mother Katherine convinced her for about three days that going to preschool would be “totally awesome”.
“You’ll get to buy all new clothes, and get new crayons and markers, we can get your hair cut, and even buy brand new cereal for your mornings!” Katherine sat on the couch with Lucy curled up in her lap, as hard as this transition was going to be for Lucy, Kat too was also dreading it. Her baby girl was four years old and going to preschool. She had no idea where the time went, but what she did know was if she didn’t get Lucy on board with the idea, it wasn’t going to happen. Katherine did not have the capacity to force her daughter to go somewhere she didn’t want to. She couldn’t drive away watching Lucy sobbing at the window, it just couldn’t happen.
“I just don’t want to mommy, please, please don’t make me momma, please? Lucy pleaded wrapping her small arms around Kat’s neck, snuggling her little face in there too. “I don’t want to, not at all.”
“C’mon Luce, it’ll be great, you’ll get to meet new friends too!” Katherine’s voice broke on the great. She didn’t know how this was going to go over, she could only hope for the best.
“What if I try it for a week, and if I hate it I can come back home?” And there it was, Katherine was so proud that her four year old was already learning to bargin, compromise… lets face it, manipulate. She wasn’t quite sure if that was something to be proud of but in the Mikhailova family, it sure was.
“Okay sweetie, we can try that.” Katherine smiled wiping a single golden tear from her eye, if Lucy could be a big girl about this, she could too.
“And don’t forget you promised mommy! She’ll be sad if you don’t go!” Michael knelt down, looking into her beautiful little face. He wasn’t sure who to be more worried for, his wife was a mess and his daughter was miserable. Katherine hated having to leave Lucy because of work. At the ripe old age of 21 Katherine was the most phenomenal mother, she cared so much for Lucy and seeing her upset made her even more upset. It was funny how similar the two were, his girls were almost replicas of the same personality, spunky, bouncy, giggly, pouty, and most obviously “convincing”. However, much unlike her mother, Lucy’s innocence was still in tact and it hopefully it would stay that way for at least another ten years. The shear weariness of the situation coated the eyes of his young bride.
It was no secret that Lucy and Katherine were extremely close. Katherine being an orphan aimed to be the best possible mother she could. Sometimes her ways were overly unconventional, and yet when you look at Lucy and you look at Kat, you really couldn’t see it being any other way. Kat knew how to discipline without hurting or hitting, she knew how to teach moral lessons and values through funny if not eccentric mechanisms, she wasn’t always perfect and she made sure Lucy knew it, but most importantly she made sure Lucy knew that it was okay to be herself, wether that be the prom queen (oh god too far in the future Michael couldn’t stand to think about that) or a quirky artist who ate her hair in the back of class. In fact that is exactly the analogy Kat used.
Michael was still eye level with Lucy and little tears started to form in her precious big brown eyes, he couldn’t stand it, now even he was losing his cool, and that was simply unacceptable. Even though Michael was a relaxed chill weed smoking kinda guy, when his women were upset he couldn’t help but want to save and fix everything. Just like Kat, Michael had never loved, had connections, or even attachments to people before, but now, with a wife and daughter they were his everything. “Sweet heart please don’t cry, come here, mama.” he opened his arms wide and allowed the little girl to tumble into them, he stood and kissed her on the forehead mumbling calming words into her ear.
“Alright, if you can try this preschool thing for an entire week, then each day mommy and I will come down to see you for lunch, alright? We can go out to lunch if you’d like or we can eat with all the great friends you going to meet, alright? It’ll only be three hours without seeing at least one of us.”
Lucy sniffled and looked up, she didn’t mind this compromise, if she got to see her mommy and daddy at least once during the day she could be a big girl for just one week, right? “Okay daddy only if you promise to have lunch with me.”
Michael gave her another big kiss on the forehead, and nodded yes. He pondered for a moment noting how the mighty have fallen, he really was wrapped around Lucy’s little fingers and he realized he always has been. He remembered when she was first born, how beautiful she was, and still is for that matter, he remembered the days of holding her and just looking at her and now even the slightest of tears ate him up inside. It was a good thing she was so naturally well behaved because had she been a little monster, the family dynamic would be altered and destructed harshly. “Okay baby, lets get going then, go get momma.”