The first day of school

February 7, 2018

Dear Rebecca

Last week you embarked on one of the first of your big firsts – your first day of playschool. We dropped you off, and I tried to be so brave, and not let my tears make a mark on a sunny tear that held no anxiety or discomfort for you.

I tried, but the moment I walked through those gates, the tears that I had been filling up my eyes were unleashed. I could smile, and remain calm, and not let my sadness become yours, but the tears rolled. And rolled.

There were smiles from your teacher and principal, there was warmth, there was comfort, and there was compassion. And there was you – in your pink leggings and pink T-shirt, so sweet, so trusting. So ready to lap up the days ahead of you in this wonderful playschool full of love and learning.

You cried a little when we left you, and in the parking lot, with your dad, I let go, and formerly restrained cry became the ugly cry. I cried because it was time to let you go learn and be loved. It was time for you to build and be built up. And of course, it was time for you to use that cute unicorn backpack. Even if I wasn’t quite ready for it all.

See, letting your child go to school is letting your child out of your fold. It’s letting go of having a fair amount of control to having less, and trusting in caretakers, kids and an environment which you hope will serve your child in the best way.

I cried for your progression (this is a happy cry), I cried because I missed you already (even though I work and wouldn’t have been hanging with you anyway), and I cried because you were just do darn cute, and a mom’s allowed to cry about this, right?

That day, when I fetched you, there was no dramatic run to me, with me sweeping you in my arms, and taking you home, exhausted after a happy and full day. Rather, you looked at me, smiled, carried on looking in toy box, smiling at your teacher, and then walking to the next teacher to smile. I was so happy you were happy, and totally at ease. (by the way, you didn’t sleep when you got home, perhaps too buoyed by the day’s excitement).

We were warned that on day three or day four, the honeymoon could come to an end, and anxiety replace it. The opposite seemed to happen, and I’m told that on Thursday, you were so content in your school space, that you cried when you had to leave.

I could not have wished for a better start, and I hope you continue to feel as comfortable and content as you do now.


PS: On Monday, while dropping you off, the gate through which I drive jumped out at me and scraped and dented my car to the tune of an unspeakable amount.

PPS: It didn’t really jump out at me, as you’ve probably gathered. The gates were closer to each other, and I completely misjudged the distance. No one was hurt. Aside from my ego and wallet, and my longings come August when I don’t get paid my no-claims bonus.

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  • Denise

    So beautiful. You have a gift with summing up situations and feelings

    February 7, 2018 at 4:24 pm Reply
  • Heather

    So sorry… it’s harder for us than for them I think…
    So sorry also about your car. Once a gate ran into my door and it was awful to fix, not so much the panel beating but the sticker was not to be found. So I drove around without a sticker on one side. (the sensor was not working on the gate, a friend’s house).

    February 10, 2018 at 6:33 pm Reply
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