J started big school today. It should have been a relaxing day when mama paparazzi could have taken lots of pictures, then walked him into his class said goodbye and gone home to worry about how he is doing and contemplating how fast his childhood is slipping away… In reality the morning was spent screaming at his big sister to get moving then spending hours trying to comb a tennis ball sized (and shaped) knot out of her hair that she had cultivated over her three and a half weeks off school…
I have been contemplating childhood today and how we have so much time to spend with our first born versus subsequent children. Well I only have two – just as well really because I would hate to think how I would cope. It seemed I had all the time in the world when S was born. I would stroll around the streets of an afternoon with a dreamy smile on my face pushing my beautiful new-born daughter in her pram contemplating how amazing women’s bodies are to be able to create such a beautiful little thing. Other cooing parents would stop, stare into the pram and comment on how gorgeous she is. Poor J, the only strolling I ever did with him is a hurried walk up to the school grounds to drop of his older sister then rushed home to clean up the kitchen before the next feed a nap and then back in his pram for another brisk walk up the road to pick her up. No time for cooing strangers.
Now here we are nearly five years later and after spending his formative years tagging along while we dropped his sister at school or watched her assembly performances or took her to drama, it strikes me, he got no quiet time with his mum to contemplate life and ask a million questions like – why is the sky blue? Why are cats furry?
Today I would have liked to spend a leisurely morning gushing about how handsome J looks in his uniform and taking lots of photos to display proudly on Facebook and on my phone. Instead the morning was spent screaming at his sister for letting a tennis ball sized knot grow in the back of her hair over the holidays, while brushing it a little too roughly. This was promptly followed by screaming at them to hurry up and get in the car as we only have 10 minutes to get to school.
The frost on my car hadn’t time to melt, as we sped along the country lanes, warning alarms on my dashboard sounding, and icicle symbols that I had never seen before lighting up. Perhaps the car was not supposed to be driven that fast before it had a chance to warm up but hey it’s been a long time since I have had to drive in those conditions. Thank goodness for country roads and no traffic or traffic lights it turned out we were only about 8 minutes late but not a good way to start at the new school that that was so crowded it had to turn away 17 other families and only just took us out of zone because we were house sitting for another school family who were away overseas.
When I got to the kindy room, the lovely kinder teacher let me take a few hurried pictures of J outside the classroom, unfortunately the sun was in his eyes and he was squinty and distracted. I felt that I had already intruded on the teacher’s time too much to ask her if I could try few more angles to get a good shot.
The school is amazing and J’s teacher rang me at 11am to tell me that J had seamlessly transitioned into the school routine and was having a good day, just because she knew I was worried that he would be behind all the other children who had started at the beginning of the year and had been drilled on the routine for the last 6 months.
At pick up a happy child came up to tell me he had two Dojo points and had borrowed a book from the school library. The teacher, who is lovely spent time with me showing me what J had accomplished, but also gave me a firm reminder of drop off times and could I please get him there earlier in future.
S also had a lovely day despite her teary start and came home happy that she had made a friend to play with at lunchtime and earned a dojo for PE. They also had school assembly where both S and J were asked to stand up so all the students could say a special welcome.
To top it off I also got a few pictures of them in their uniforms when they got home before they wanted to race off again to climb the tree before dinner.