When Miss A was just a baby, I couldn’t wait for her to reach the next milestone. I was eager for her to roll, crawl, walk and talk. And those milestones were celebrated with great excitement. But lately, another milestone has been looming and my emotions have been mixed. And today was the day for that milestone. My “baby” started school.
I wrote here about preparing myself for this moment. I held back tears when we left kinder for the last time. For me, it signified the end of a wonderful chapter and a reminder that my little girl was not so little anymore.
Today was a very big day. People talk about this big moment in their child’s life (and indeed their own) but you can’t truly appreciate the significance of it until you reach it. I used to wonder why mothers felt sad on the first day of school. Surely, it represented greater freedom for them and independence for their child. But now I get it. I really get it.
Miss A has been my constant companion for almost six years. Our bond is loving, secure and tight. Very tight. She is my buddy. She is my ‘big’ baby. She is my world.
Perhaps the emotional impact of starting school is greater because she is my first-born. I wonder if when the time comes for Miss H to skip through those school gates I will be jumping for joy at my freedom for the first time in over a decade. Or perhaps not. Perhaps I will then mourn the loss of my baby and the loss of my last preschooler.
But for now, Miss A is ready. She’s so ready. That’s not to say she doesn’t have any nerves. She’s a little apprehensive at the unknown; the big school grounds and the long days. And she also says she will miss me. But how could she possibly miss me as much as I will miss her?
We all took Miss A to school today. I loved how much of a family event it was, and how excited her younger sisters were for her big moment. They sat on her bed and watched her dress into her uniform this morning, admiring her shiny black shoes and cute little school hair ties. They understood the significance of the day and cheered her on.
The collective excitement and anticipation in the Prep classroom was very moving. All the little preps looked utterly adorable. Each and every one of them. And the parents looked proud – oh so very proud!
After a short time in the classroom, Miss A looked at me and said, “So when does school actually start, mama?” And that was my cue to leave. “As soon as we all get outta here,” I replied, and I hugged her tightly and said goodbye. There were no tears from her, and no tears from me. I walked out of the school grounds feeling proud and happy. And ready for the next chapter to begin…
My darling Miss A,
This journey will be one of the most incredible experiences of your life. It will amaze, excite and reward you. It will inspire, challenge and stimulate you. And you, my girl will shine.
Your passion and curiosity will ensure you thrive at school.
Your kindness and compassion will ensure you make lots of friends.
Your enthusiasm and readiness will make school so much fun.
Go, my darling girl. Learn, laugh and play. You have nothing to fear. So many wonderful discoveries await you. Most of all have fun. Bucket loads of glorious fun.
I love you,
How did you feel on your child’s first day of school or kinder? Was your child excited? Were you emotional?