Today is the start of another wonderful instalment in your life. You’re heading off to a new school where wonderful faces and activities will beckon you into – hopefully – a good few years of happiness, learning and growth.
For a parent, this is a bittersweet moment. I’m happy that you’ve met this milestone and so excited for the songs, puzzles, parties, friends and experiences that await you. But I’m full of worry and concern – will you be happy, will you get hurt, will you flourish, and will you get the love that you deserve.
My advice if you could take it now? Have a ball. I know some days you won’t feel like getting out of bed, nor leaving mom and dad, but maybe there’ll be cake that day, or a new toy in the sandpit, or an outing. There’s often new cool stuff out there – you just have to find it.
Continue being who you are. If you want to sit alone and read a book while others ride bikes because that’s all you feel like doing, then that’s cool. Something I admire – and sometimes fear – about you is your complete happiness with yourself and independence, and the lack of need to do what everyone else is doing. Stick with it – I believe it will stand you in good stead for life.
I want to say that you should ignore the bullies and biters, but sometimes I think the best thing is to “fight” back to show you’re not to be messed with. Lines will need to be drawn and you’ll need to decide what battles need to be fought, but many need to be taken on. I suspect that your voice will be your strength rather than your fists, and that’s not a bad thing.
Those crappy moments won’t last forever. But it will feel as if they do, especially when you’re three and you’re in a state of darkness and hopelessness. This will be the hardest challenge, Max, knowing that the shite usually passes, and that many times there’s a good reason for the shite in the first place. In my case, my crappy moments at nursery school included being teased for the type of shoes I wore in nursery school, and falling down the jungle gym and landing on my head.
There’s also the obvious advice: try not to stick crayons and objects up your nose or in your ears, try to get the slice of cake with the most icing, clean up so that your teacher likes you (which could lead to the piece of cake with the icing), don’t eat paint, glue or puzzle pieces, and when your teacher says washes your hands, please do so – apparently colds and illness can be prevented by regular washing of hands.
And also remember, there will be at least one douchebag in every class. You can’t change them; you just need to manage how you respond to them.
I hope you enjoy this chapter of hopefully a very rich and wonderful storybook. Please know that I’ll have your back and your heart so close to mine, even though I’m letting you go on this new journey.
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