Monday, 18 February 2013
the first day
I remember reading Jodi's account of the first day, when she said, 'To be honest it was easier than I expected. I only cried a few tears and they were, most definitely, happy ones.' And I couldn't agree more. A few tears escaped me once she had marched proudly into the prep building, without turning back. I let most of my emotion out the night before (which were really, mostly sad tears, that my baby girl was leaving my side and heading into the big wide world), after my parents had arrived and mum so eloquently stated 'you'll miss her so much!'. Thanks mum.
She has been waiting to go to school for a year. The entirety of last year was spent counting down the months until she would, really truly, be at school. ALL DAY. This notion of spending all day away from home was wonderful to her. The reality would seem not quite so shiny now that she has experienced how long all day actually is. And as a parent, a full day at school seems like such a steep learning curve. To go from kindy - playing, painting, drawing, demanding minimal focus and attention - to school - where it's ALL about listening and learning, and very little about playing. I know it is only time - time to get used to this new routine.
My parents flew down for the big event, and I am so, so glad they did. Ruby was so proud that she had her nanna and pa there with her on her first day as well. I wish I could show you the photos I took of her lining up and waving us goodbye before heading into class (lots of children, privacy, etc). The excitement so clear on her face, beaming smile, holding hands with her bestie. A sea of tiny children in their oversized uniforms and backpacks, waving energetically at their loved ones and blowing kisses, before taking their first steps on this lengthy journey of education. There was definitely a lump in my throat. I held it together until she was gone from sight.
I made her a little pocket heart to keep close, so that she knew if she was feeling overwhelmed by her big day, she could give it a squeeze and feel all our love and support for her. Later that afternoon she came to me and whispered in my ear, 'mum, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed at school today, so I went and got my heart out of my bag and when I held it, I felt much better'. Cue hot tears welling in eyes. Mum and I collected her, with bright orange roses in hand which she had been asking for every time we went to the shops, the whole week beforehand. She decorated cupcakes after school with nanna - something she had requested a week prior. Her day could not have been better.
She too, is doing wonderfully. Her teacher is lovely - young and vibrant with so much energy to share with her students. Every day she comes out of class smiling and happy, ready to share what happened throughout the day. Her school is very kind on the little ones, breaking them in slowly with just three short days in the first week, followed by four full time days for the remainder of February. We go full time early March. She has surprised me with her energy levels. There have been minimal meltdowns, and only one little nap, so all in all she's had a wonderful start. We've had a wonderful start.
If you've experienced the 'first day' for your small, were there happy tears? Milkshakes? Cupcakes?!