Today you started “big girl school”. the big day arrived and it was the first day at school. You’ve been itching to start for a while, always getting so excited when you do go with Daddy to pick the boys up or you drop them off in the morning – all of the older kids know you by name and they all think you’re a new friend to play with.
I guess in that aspect it’s not as daunting for you as it might have been for Reuben and Toby, or maybe Reuben as Toby already had him there and knew everyone too. Reuben cried so much the first few weeks, I used to have to drop him at the gate and beat a hasty retreat rather than wait with him because as soon as we all started to queue up to go in he would cling to me, crying that he didn’t want to go. Drop and run, that was the name of the game and then there were no tears.
With Toby, I stayed and watched you all play, you gently toddling around the playground sometimes, but more often than not you would be stuck up high in my arms, refusing to play or talk to anyone. You used to scowl at some of the school mums, refusing to smile at them. It was a running joke to try and make you smile.
You see, Edith, you have known this is a place you will go since the day you were born, you’ve familiarised yourself with the people, the surroundings and the expectations, but now those expectations have changed a little bit for you. You’re a student now and everyone keeps remind you that you are a big girl now, but that somehow feels strange to me when you’re my baby and you’re only four. It doesn’t appear to feel strange to you, in fact you relish the new title of big girl, often stamping your feet and reminding me when I call you my baby girl.
I’m not sure how it will work having you and Toby in the same class for a few months, especially as Toby is going through the loss of Nala (our pet cat), it’s a tough time for him – we’ll see how it pans out. He’s not into having his own space as much as Reuben (who will most likely crowd you on the playground by the way) but he still feels like that classroom is HIS space. I have no doubt that if he tries to tell you what to do, you will set him straight – after all you’re usually the one telling everyone what to do at home.
The last few months when you’ve gone up to school with daddy on a morning, you run off to play with the other children, but this morning when we both dropped you off, you stood by my side like you used to when you were smaller. You held the fabric of my dress and then eventually you asked to be picked up, something you still insist upon all the time and that really isn’t a burden because you’re so tiny. I wasn’t sure if your nerves were getting the better of you.
Then the bell went and you’re eyes lit up, you put your little hands on my chest and pushed, time to go. You ran off without a backwards glance to line up, no hesitation or fear, just excitement written all over your little face. I’ve never seen such an enthusiastic school starter!
That’s the thing Edith, you’re so brave, you truly are, and it’s that bravery that amazes me all the time. I hope you never lose it. School can be a hard place, filled with playground politics and harsh words, but you don’t know that yet, and when you find out I hope you take in as much in your stride as you do everything else.
Keep being brave, little girl.