Sunday, February 01, 2009

A new role to play

Tomorrow everything starts anew as our babe starts school.

Children of friends have already started this week and things appear to have gone well. Mothers have been varyingly more and less upset than anticipated; children the same. Well adjusted confident children have had meltdowns at the last moment and the more shy, retiring oneshave walked away without a backward glance.

An article in The Age included comments from an experienced prep teacher who, not surprisingly, said that children take cues from the parents with regards to their reaction to schooling - parents are visibly upset, it tells the children something isn't right and they follow suit.

Ella's excited and we are too, because she is. I haven't thought too much about tomorrow. I've done the necessary shopping, I've made an art smock and library bag, labelled clothing but hadn't thought too much about it - until last night, when I had to acknowledge there was only one day to go.

I have the usual parental fears - will she be safe, will everyone be kind to her; she's such a gentle loving child who expects only the best from everyone and unfortunately doesn't always get the same in return. More than anything I wonder what life will be like without her around. I know that it's only 9am to 3:30 pm, but it feels like a lifetime looming ahead of me each day. Geoff and I talked about it last night and I said that I love her not just as my daughter and for how beautiful she is in every way, but I LIKE her so much. She is such a lovely person, so generous, interested and interesting and so very loving. I always said that I would never try to be a friend to my children in the way some do, but to be the best, most loving and supportive mother I could be and in turn believe and that friendship would flow from that, and it has.

5 years now seems but a blink. As with most things in our lives I can't believe I wasn't more grateful for the time we had together. For all the times I was impatient and just wished that I could have a few hours to myself, I wish I could take them all back and have those moments all over again. For the hours that we spent not doing anything much. For all the cakes we made, for the cups of tea we shared, for all the laughter, for all the love, I'm so very grateful that I was home to see of much of it.

I know that tomorrow is the start of something wonderful and different, but it's also the end to our home years, to months on end of just being together and doing as we please, and I'll feel the loss of that tremendously.

Roll on term 1 holidays.

PS No children consumed alcohol in this photograph; no it's not the end of the world; yes I am being more than a little self indulgent; yes I do have a gorgeous younger babe to enjoy more fully now; yes, I've got it out of my system.


KikiMiss said...

My heart did sink a little reading...of course, as you know, I understand all of it. Enjoy today, the last day of 'nothingness'.


Prue said...

I think the thing I am feeling most is that nothing is ever going to be the same - life will be dictated by school hours and school terms. Everything else has to fit in around that.

I hope all goes well tomorrow. Keep your chin up!

Em said...

All the best for your daughter's first day at school, I cried when I read your post. I have a 2yo son and another bub on the way and I was thinking about them "leaving the nest" oohhh the hormones!! best of luck to you all
x Em

Jodie said...

You put into words so perfectly exactly what I was feeling this time last year. I did survive, my daughter did survive, but I do miss the "nothingness". Good luck to both of you.

Little Min said...

I think you've just laid out what it'll be like for me too in a couple of years. Is there any solace in knowing that Ella was with you, in your care all that time rather than someone elses?
All the best for tomorrow. xx

Tamara said...

Oh Victoria, I remember just how you felt. I really did find the first week so hard. (I was 8 months pregnant, which didn't help) I remember calling other girlfriends who had older children, looking for reassurance that it would get better. It does..and you have the reassurance that she is at a lovely school.

Roll on 3:30, I say!

Sandy said...

I have the same fears for my Tyler. He's so special and so gentle, not a tough boy at all. As you know, I am holding him back a year. It was a half selfish choice so that I would have him for one more year to myself, but in my heart of hearts, I know that he isn't ready. He'll be more confident next year. Ella is a beautiful, sweet girl. She'll do really well. It's always hard on the parents, the letting go part.