Not so long ago I was complaining about always being told to cherish every moment with my children while they are young, because they grow up quickly and soon it will all be gone. Well, now I am feeling that anxiety, that nostalgia, that emotion that I scoffed at before. It is true what they say: you can never understand something other people tell you about, until you experience it for yourself.
My eldest daughter is about to enter the education system. Yes, she is starting at Big School. And that is a Very Big Thing to us emotionally charged mothers. After all, we have spent the past 5 years nurturing these babies (if you include their time in the womb). We fed them, changed their nappies, witnessed their milestone achievements, introduced discipline, routine, playtime and boundaries for safety and morality. And we will continue to do so. It is our job, along with our husbands, partners or the children’s fathers.
But right now I am focusing on the emotion. As I write this, I contemplate the fact that tomorrow morning I will drop my daughter off at Big School, and leave her there for two whole hours. Now, she has been at pre-school for three days every week for the past two years. You would think I would be used to it. But this is different. This is Big School. This means a new routine for all of us, including me, her younger sister, and our dog. Now we will have to prepare to leave the house earlier and walk to school every day for five days. I will have to prepare her uniform, help with school projects, arrange her attendance in any clubs she might express an interest in. And I might also (gulp) be coerced into joining the PTA… Phew!
So there we are. Tomorrow is the start of a whole new adventure. She will have her first taster of school life. I will have my first trial of the school run (minus the dog, to begin with; he can get a bit over-excited around new people, and I can do without the added stress of wrestling an exuberant Staffie X while trying to keep it all together and not cry in front of the other parents, teachers and children). But I do feel anxious. I am excited. I am…unsure. Please, parents, do share your own feelings about this new adventure. Perhaps you remember how it was for you and your children. Or maybe you are experiencing it right now, just like me… We can do this!
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