Saturday, 28 January 2017

Kindergarten: A New Journey

I found myself close to tears, over the ironing.

While ironing and household chores are wont to reduce us to tears, it wasn't really the ironing's fault in this case.

It was what I was ironing.

My precious baby's new school uniform, for him to wear the following day.

His first day of Kindergarten.

In that tiny pair of shorts, I could see the journey ahead.

The years of uniforms that he will wear (and I will iron) as he progresses through to Graduation.

I could see all of that in that one item, in that one task.
Shoes... He's never worn them for a whole day in his life!

There was joy and grieving.

Grieving...
for the end of his babyhood
for the end of my era as a mother-of-babies, a hen and her chicks
for the end of the exclusive universe I've built around my babies - now they explore a bigger world

Joy...
watching my baby become a boy
knowing he is ready for this next chapter
watching his excitement (and nerves)

It's not even only about him, my younger one, but also about my precious girl, who also seems to grow apace...  She starts Year 4.  Year 4.  So very grown up.  Taller than me soon (hooray!  and also... not difficult)
They'll never look this good again!
I began my teaching career with Year 4.  I had no idea that they were each someone's babies, still. They seemed so mature, so independent.

And the parents seemed to wear the mantle of parenthood easily, to come as a family package with their children, know what they were about...

I didn't realise they were still learning too, still figuring out this parenting gig.

And when I taught Kindergarten (who I loved, by the way, and they loved me), I really didn't grasp how each of those little people that walked through my door, were still just tiny babies.

I passed a mum sobbing yesterday, as I walked my baby boy to his classroom, and his beautiful teacher.
And I understood.
And, truth be told, I cried too.  For her, and for me.
Trains.  His very favourite thing in the whole world. 
Because I had to take my baby, deliver him to his (beautiful, gentle, wonderful) teacher.

And leave him there.

Walk away without him.

I was glad to have my girl with me for that day, but I think Monday when I must leave them both, I will shed more tears.

No longer are my precious kids orbiting in the universe I have created for them.

No longer are they relying just on me, Mama (and Papa too of course).

They are both now venturing out on their Grand Adventure, which is peopled and influenced by so many others.

Which means they will have an existence, an experience, which I will largely not know about.  I won't know the details of every conversation that they have, with their teachers, and their friends.  I won't hear all the things that make them giggle, cry, and be able to guide their interactions with others.  I can't cuddle them when they are hurt at school.

So I'm hoping that the foundations we have laid will endure and keep them safe, keep them knowing they are loved, whatever they encounter.

**********************

I collected him yesterday, all smiles as he walked out in lines, holding hands with his friend.
He still looked tiny.
They all did.
With their enormous backpacks, and hats, and uniforms 2 sizes too big.

He had a great day.  Thankful, so thankful.
And he wants to go back.  Doubly thankful.

But there's still a tear or two to shed.


Because I think he grew a year in that one day.

He needs me just a little less.

Grief and Joy.

Because that is what we long for them.

To raise them so they are healthy without us one day.

It's a funny gig, this parenting job.  To render yourself redundant.

Off on a Very Grand Adventure
And I will always be here waiting for them to come home

The joy in this? They will always need our love.

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