It is possible that your first day at your new school was among the most bittersweet I’ve ever experienced as a parent. Seeing you in uniform for the first time made me proud, excited, and quite frankly, pretty petrified. I wasn’t scared that you wouldn’t cope, or that you wouldn’t settle in, but rather, I feared letting go, and not being able to protect you from all the things I want to shield you from.
Like the kids who might pick you last for the sports team. Like the kids who might pick on you. Like a lonely break time. Like the picture you might struggle to draw. Like the fear or sadness that might come from being fetched late/leaving your lunch at home/running your first race.
I realise that some of these might never actually happen, or even bother you for that matter, and reading back, I realise I’m probably just trying to protect you from the things that happened to me when I was at school, and that your school challenges might be completely different to mine, if at all.
But I hate that I can’t protect you all the time, something I’ve known since you were born, and that all I can do is prepare you as best as I can, pep you up when school and life seem too big to bear, and try to pick up your pieces if they need it.
Inside your too-big-for-you-uniform, is a little guy so full of strength and soul, who I know will probably share his sandwiches, Kinder chocolates and building blocks with the others, while keeping his head high when he needs to. I know you’ll be okay, and that you’ll handle school just as you need to, but I still want to envelop you fiercely.
Here’s wishing you an amazing journey filled with learning, growth, awesome playtime, great lunches, fun, progress and smiles. May your too-big-for-you-suitcase carry you and your tools of learning safely.
I love you, my grade R big little dude.
PS: You settled well in your new school, and didn’t cry on the first day, even though it’s completely okay to do so. I made up for you, and cried a lot, albeit discreetly. I cried when I saw other kids walking hand in hand with their parents, I cried when I saw your locker, I cried when I saw your classroom for the first time. I cried when I said goodbye. I cried when I watched you settle in, through one of the classroom windows. I also cried on the way to work. These were bittersweet mostly happy tears.
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