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  • Writer's pictureJasmine Norwood-Dioulo

First day of preschool for our Tokyo-living little babe

Do you see the excitement on this sweet face?! Savvy Girl couldn't wait to get to school this morning.

Today, January 12, 2021, marked her first day of preschool!

And whew! Let me tell you, so much went into our decision.

When should we put her in school? Why should we put her in school when she's learning so much just running free and exploring every day? Which international school here in Tokyo do we enroll her in? Part-time, full-time, half-days, full-days? Pre-Covid, post-Covid? Like, is "going to school" even a thing anymore?

I mean seriously people, this is preschool! The way I was researching, praying, meditating, polling the audience, talking to aaalllll my #expatfriends and #mamafriends, chatting Hubby's ear off, running different scenarios, you would've thought our two and a half-year-old was heading to University!

Back in early Spring 2020, we landed on the perfect school for our family. It's less than a 10-minute walk from our house, has a curriculum that emphasizes learning through play and getting their little hands dirty. Teachers that believe in instilling the core values of a good human being, and a dual immersion program -- where part of the day is taught in English, and the other part is taught in Japanese, and Japanese customs and culture are gently woven into their everyday lives!

So we found the school, and then...COVID crept into Tokyo.

So we opted to hold off a semester.

January 2021 rolled around and we decided (and by, "we decided," I mean, Julian stopped me mid-sentence during one of my spiraling sessions of rattling off pros and cons, and what-ifs, and risks and benefits -- and said, "When is the tuition due? We are sending her to school."


Hahaha Thank God for a man that knows me better than I know myself because Savvy wouldn't have started going to preschool until she was 25 years old at the rate I was going! LOL

As you know, we are currently 33 weeks preggo! And one of my biggest concerns was whether or not, this would be too much change for Savvy (and me -- if I'm being honest) right before baby boy makes his debut.

Sav + our (about) 23 wk bump, captured by Tokyo photog:

I am so beyond grateful that I was able to stop working as a reporter when Savvy was 7 months old, and that I've been home, pouring into her, our family, and and every day since. But I just didn't know what this new chapter would look like -- with school, and a new baby, and if Savvy would feel neglected or overwhelmed.

But as we've done with every major transition so far, we've let Sav lead the way. She's always had this way of communicating with us when she is ready for the next step.

Whether it's been co-sleeping, nursing, weaning, riding a bike, joining ballet, starting school, I swear, the girl was born knowing what she wants and when she wants it.

In this case, her nanny would bring her back from the park some days and tell me, Savannah would play with the school kids who were having a recess in the park, and when it was time for them to line-up and head back to school, she would try to get in line with them!

Julian was great at reminding me of this when I would have my "are we sure" moments about enrolling her in school. He would say, "At this point, it's sad if we don't let her go to school, she's ready." true.

Sav + her forever bodyguard on the first day of school haha

And we've been able to make the perfect set up for our family. She goes to school a couple of days a week and is home a couple of days a week. And by home, I mean she and I are out in these Tokyo streets exploring -- Always looking for a good latte, a sandbox, a fun slide, and friends.

It's always already figured out, isn't it? We just have to be still and trust. The answer is always there and it's always for our greater good.

Cheeeeese! (We're still working on that peace sign) ;-P

Here are some pics + vids from our little social butterfly's first walk to and from preschool.

A day we will remember forever.

No tears at drop-off, and at pick-up her teachers told us she was smiling and laughing all day!

Backpack, waterbottle, umbrella -- Babygirl was prepared! haha

During the Japanese portion of class today, Savannah learned how, why, and when to bow, as well as how to properly greet people in the New Year in Nihongo (the Japanese language)! :-D

When we got home from school, Savvy gushed, "I just had so much fun today!" as she fell asleep, and my mama-heart melted!

I can't even believe our girl finally got to line-up, hold the rope, and walk back to school from recess at the park today.

What a dream come true for her! :-D

And just in case you needed anymore sappiness in your day -- I drew a heart on Sav's napkin and slipped it into her bento box this morning. When we picked her up from school, the teacher explained that when Savvy saw the heart she smiled, and said "I love you."

So yeah. Here's a pic of our two year old's leftover lunch and a crumpled napkin that I'll prob keep forever because #sentimentalhoarderprobs. haha

Love Always.



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