Monday, 10 September 2012

Sweet Pea Goes to School.

Sweet Pea is confident. Fearless. Ready for any challenge -- given proper prep time and steps. And school was no different.

In the spring, she started asking when she would go to school. It seemed so far off.
And then the pages on the calendar turned and turned, and it got closer and closer. And then the calendar said "SEPTEMBER" and all the markers I had given Sweet Pea for when school would start had been met. Then, the badgering began in earnest.

There were moments of abject terror where she insisted she would never go to school. There were moments of such incredibly poor behaviour that I just couldn't wait to send her off to school. There were moments of excitement, when she sat with me and shared all her hopes for school - new friends, a best friend named Kayla, colouring time, painting, water tables, her lunch bag, etc. And really, the excitement outweighed the trepidation. But when I found her last week, laying awake in her bed well after lights out, worrying her blankets, and she confided her fears . . . I knew she needed a little more prep. She was worried that after she got off the bus, she wouldn't know what to do.
"Well, you'll go play on the playground."
"With who?"
"I don't know. You'll have to make some new friends at school."
"And then what will happen?"
"You'll hear a bell, or a tone, and you'll line up with your class. Then your teacher will take you inside to your classroom."
Her questions became pretty pointed. So last Friday, we took a trip to her bus stop, and then to the school to observe. Since last Friday, Sweet Pea has been a bundle of excitement. This morning, she got on the bus all by herself and went to school. She insisted that she do it alone. I offered to drive her for her first day, but she declined.

A little pre-school playtime. 

 There was only a moment's hesitation as she got ready for school.
"Will I miss you, mom?"
"Maybe. You'll have lots to do, though. You'll have fun."
"Will you miss me?"
"Every minute of every hour that you are at school, I will miss you. But you will come home this afternoon, and we will snuggle and talk about all the wonderful things you did and the friends you met."

And then we headed outside for the short walk to the bus stop. It didn't take long before my Sweet Pea was thoroughly annoyed with all the picture taking. I only got 4 shots of her at the house -- and one of them has a Boober running through it.

 She still seems so little to me. Will I always be this nervous about letting go? I know she's capable, and there's no denying she's confident! But . . . that's my little girl, in this great big world full of danger.

Heart-melting moment at the bus stop. Hugs and kisses. These two love each other so much. In fact, Boober was the first one to break down when we put our girl on the bus. He misses his sister.

And this is my favourite shot. I think this will be her quintessential 'first day of school' photo. Bouncing with excitement as the bus approaches, happy face, clenched hands. She was so pumped to go that I didn't get a hug & kiss, or even a 'bye mom'. This is the curse of raising confident kids, right? It's hard to feel needed when . . . well, you're not. Not for everything, anyway. And I'm glad for it, I really am - I know she'll do great today and come home full of stories and excitement . . . and that parting was so much easier than the days when I would leave her crying in the foyer at daycare in the toddler years. But . . . 'bye, baby. Sob.