But the reality is, with the introduction of the all the demands that come with big school, our lives have only gotten busier. Not surprisingly though, as both Mike and my work plates grew towards the end of last year (its been nuts, but also so much growth), not to mention having to deal with the trials and tribulations of first trimester. So to be honest, there’s only been enough space in this life to live it, and not be able to blog about it too. But it’s a major milestone none the less– for both Morgy and us – so there is a lot that goes on. Both physically, and emotionally in our lives. And I find my thoughts constantly drifting towards this.
But first, I am happy to report that my girl has remained true to her gregarious nature, and went into the first day like “it aint no thang”. Confidently going straight up to her teacher and saying hi, making herself at home in the class. She made friends with a little boy, who was clearly so shy, but she managed to get him to explore the classroom a bit. She later came to tell me, “he’s just a bit shy. All he needs is some to make him feel good.”…(Gahd, that girl makes my heart go ka-sploosh.) Also, removing her shoes (first thing, no matter the weather) and getting stuck into playground like she’s known this place for so long. Not to mention conquering all the trees she can.
Also managing to convince other moms hanging around to push her on the swing – but still being aware enough that she needs to share that swing. All good things, that to me, will stand her in good stead in life.
Yes, she loved, loved everything of the day. Except of course, she hated every second I wanted to take a photo. Limiting me to “just one photo, ok, mom?”, and then humouring me with her best fake smile. ( Hence I almost NEVER ask my kids to pose or “smile”, cause its as pointless as farting against thunder) So the spy- natured pix are mostly what I have on offer here.
And so now, a new wave of classroom drop-offs started for us. New school, new chapters, certainly a different cluture to the school, and I couldn’t help but feel a fantastic buzz I joined in the steady stream of in-‘n-out parents bobbing through the school halls. Many hanger-on’ners waiting for that school bell to go before they all disperse. All the veteran moms catching up with each other, some cycle moms gathering in surprise at now also able to share the same school run with each other, some moms clad in their gym clothes ready to hit the squat rack right after and then others like me: totally new, trying to look like we know what we’re doing, but clearly sticking out like sore thumbs.
It’s our first borns after all, so we’re total first timers through this shiny machine. And I love it, even though I remain my awkward self among the other mommies, I am beaming with excitement because of all the possibilities that now lay ahead of our girl. And she is seemingly taking to it so well.
I mean Mike and I work hard for this, so, yes, there were good vibrations all the way. Especially for those first two days that I especially took leave days to fully focus on my girl in that time. So why my mommy worries then? Well, thing is – and I know Im not alone in this- I worry about my kid actually well and truly being happy there. Not just this school, but any school. Will she make friends? Will kids be mean (of course they will be). How will she deal with it? How will I deal with it? Will my reactions be constructive and helpful enough? Will the teachers protect her, and be able to keep her self confidence in tact should it come down to that? Will they deal with it adequately or merely add to her pain, and any possible feeling of rejection and inadequacy? Will the teacher “get” her? Will that teacher be of sufficient calibre to truly help bring out the best in her? Or will this teacher just be another negative source that will chip away at her self-esteem.
Also, I think, how much of these fears are merely perhaps my own fears I am projecting onto her? Are they mine, or is this a genuine thing I need to be concerned about – because I saw it happen to her a bit last year when the changing teacher situation went all wonky….Flip…AM I projecting it onto her? Damnit, I don’t want that! So I think, and think and I think, and I worry.
She’s not like me at all – she’s far more gregarious than Mike and myself. Although, many close loved ones of mine insist she is very much like me. I’m not so sure she is. But If she is, I sure hope she doesn’t have to deal with the playground issues I had. Granted, thanks to my folks’ support, I made my way through it without losing character. And it’s much like I used to have those long chats with my little nieces after school, as I dried their tears and we spoke over bowls of ice-cream about navigating the play ground: as tough as it may feel, they have to find their own way through these things NOW, because truth is, your life ahead will be much like the playground is: The fun, the mishaps, the scrapes and falls, the different kind of characters out there, the friends, the bullies, the nasties, the lonelies – just all of it. So you better learn to find your best way of dealing with it now, because if you, as an adult, think of your own adulthood now, essentially not much changes.
I suppose it’s this weight I feel as a mother to protect my child, and instinctively I want to protect her and be there for her at all times. But I also know this is something she has to figure out on her own. So right now, I’m just struggling with trying to figure out how to give her these tools she needs to figure it out. Like what exactly did my mom say to me that made me feel loved and supported and able to navigate my way through things, without her ever having to jump in and intervene. (Gosh, mom, do you have like any notes you can share? )
And, although I know it’s an organic part of life, and situations she’ll need to work through on her own, I am in all honesty totally struggling to let go of these worries. Hells bells, I don’t even know if I need to worry at all! She seems to have some lovely friends already. And the teacher is seemingly living up to all my expectations I had hoped for, when I first registered Morgy here – only 5 years ago!! (the waiting list struggle is real) But gosh darn it, these mommy spidey senses aren’t just something you can’t shake, are they?!
And whilst I sometimes feel really silly about them, and remain cognisant not to lose the balance on these worries, I also feel like these are very real issues to be concerned about. Like, it has it’s rightful place. For our children are our number one concern, and raising them to be happy, well-adjusted, kind, confident and level headed individuals is quite a daunting task. But an absolutely noble and worthy one!
So I remain acutely aware of how important that very first class room experience is. The gravity of impact that, that first teacher will have on my child. How important and what affect it has on one’s character when that first non-parental leadership person in your life learns to understand you, gets to know how you best learn, and how to make you shine. That person that will, apart from the comforts of home and parents, make you feel like your shining, and help you uncover your strengths. Or that first real experience of true friendship, and finding your own space and place in and among your friends. All which may seem like normal kindergarten routine things, but actually are all part of laying that foundation for you as an individual and your self-worth, and your views on life.
So whilst I can’t shake these worries – you hope that these strangers will truly get to see your children in their true reflections- I also take solace knowing that they are well founded. These first new chapters are so crucial, so will remain there for my girl anytime she may need me…and maybe go work on the punch bag (or more likely, eat chocolate) on the days I start to overthink it.
But in between it all, I will also trust this gregariously spirited daughter of mine to do what she always effortlessly does, and spin that sweet magic charm of hers wherever she goes.