Considering The Woo and I have been going to ‘storytime’ on a Wednesday afternoon over at the ‘big school’ since September, and we have already been to two transition mornings, it’s a wonder that the penny hadn’t dropped sooner.
Last week, I offered my assistance, along with another parent, to help the kinder teacher to walk over to the ‘big school’ with the class. Instead of sitting in with the current preppies, they were to have an hour, looking around their new school, and engaging in various activities with their grade 5 ‘buddies.’
I am a huge fan of this ‘buddy’ system, and could easily see how it was a positive experience for both the ‘big buddies’ and their ‘little people.’ The kinder children were excited to be at the big school and almost instantly at ease having someone to look after them. Similarly, the grade 5 children showed a great sense of pride in their role and took their new responsibility very seriously.
It was a wonderful thing to observe.
Over the weeks of transition, I have been going through a transition of sorts also. I have had more opportunities to meet and chat with the other mums and friendships have already begun to form, and playdates and catch-up-coffee’s planned for the summer holidays.
As the other mummy-helper and I chatted at the back of the class (whilst the kinder kids and their buddies played musical statues to Abba’s Mamamia) she confessed that it had suddenly hit her, on the last transition morning, that her little girl was going to school, and she had felt momentarily emotional about it.
“I don’t think I’ll cry on his first day of school,” I admitted…and at that stage I had no doubt in my mind that this was the truth.
How quickly things can change!
Before leaving the schoolyard to walk back to kinder the buddies all gave their ‘little people’ a letter that they had written for them.
“Can you read this to me?” the Woo asked when we got back to his classroom. I untied the ribbon and unrolled the piece of paper and started to read it aloud to him.
Three sentences in and my chin began to wobble and I had to take a minute to compose myself.
“What else does it say?” asked Woo urging me on.
It was really hard to hold back the sudden emotion I felt.
It had happened to me. That feeling that my friend had struggled to explain to me only half an hour ago of suddenly realising…he.is.going.to.school!
With this new realisation now planted firmly in my psyche, it was a very different walk to the ‘big school’ this morning…for me at least. When he stopped leaping and jumping across the neighbour’s nature strip, and came beside me and slipped his hand into mine, I tried my best to take a snapshot of that moment to hold in my memory.
The warmth, and the softness of his chubby hand still small in mine.
The bounce in his step and the excited chatter, and the clean smell of shampoo in my nose as I bend to kiss his head.
He is confident, and ready and so excited to take the next step…the BIG step into school, and I am so proud of him.
But don’t be surprised if, instead of the bottle of bubbly I thought I’d have, I have a discreet packet of tissues in my pocket on his first school morning.
How did you feel, or how do you think you will feel, when your child starts school?