Nine Months More

A new chapter, but no words

I have been anticipating the silence. I have been making a mental list of all the things I would get done, the minute you were gone. Spending time apart is nothing new for us. I went back to work part time when you were six months old. So we are good at good-byes.

But today was different.

My Facebook newsfeed spiralled with ‘first day of school’ updates. Messages of little cousins and our niece sent to my phone. Little girls all dressed up in their way too big uniforms and hair tied up in pony tails.

My study has been overrun with your school things. Scattered on my desk have been your lunchbox, drink bottle, plastic boxes for your sandwiches and snacks. Little labels etched with your name, waiting to be placed on all the items you need to take.

You acted like a seasoned pro in the morning. Dressed, posed for photos and school bag on ready to go. One minute you were still in your pyjamas playing Angry Birds with your brother and the next minute we were out the door and on our way.

First day of school

Through the school gates, my heart melted as I watched you and your brother walk hand in hand with Daddy. Chuffed, I thought to myself “we have this all sorted.”

Your classroom was chaotic. There were parents and grandparents huddled at the door. There were prolonged good-byes and lots of crying. Daddy took over and got you all settled. Name tag on and off to do a puzzle. I just snapped away with my camera. These were the moments that I wanted to last forever.

First day of school

Watching you, I was lost in my own world. Remembering you as a baby and thinking just how much you have grown. When Daddy turned to me and said “we should go and let him start his day.” That was the exact moment when I froze. Turning to the teacher I asked “when would you like the parents to leave?” “Now,” she said and smiled.

As I turned back around, Daddy was giving you a high-five and nudged me to do the same. I could not leave. A high-five was not enough. So I bent down and hugged your little shoulders and whispered “Mummy loves you.”

Leaving, before you could see me cry.

So the chuffed, confident mum that walked into the school grounds only minutes earlier, walked out with a tear stained face. Pangs of sadness pulled at my heart.

First day of school

Today is a new chapter. A chapter that only bears a title. No words have been written. No stories of great adventure. No stories of new things learnt. No stories of great friends made. The pages are empty and my little boy holds the words in his hands.

At least, for part of my day, I will have the silence. To contemplate how I will find the balance. The balance between reading my son’s words and helping him write them.

How did you cope with your first day?

  • LydiaCLee

    We have just had the first of high school – where he wanders out the door by himself and catches trains and buses, never previously done before. While we had glimpses, our boy has hit that teen behaviour over night. Yesterday I got “Will you stop asking, nothing interesting happens at school, Mum” (big eyeroll).
    That first of kindy seems so long ago now, I can barely remember. Good thing we have the photos of that smiley little boy.

    • happy to be dealing just with the prep years – teenage years – not sure I’ll ever be ready!

  • Catherine RodieBlagg

    I think when my girls start school I’ll be a wreck, thankfully I still have a couple of years to go! xx

  • oh Josefa. I’m sitting here crying now. I didn’t cry the day Nick started school, but reading this is making me re-live it. It was so hard. I still hate dropping him off, but I love picking him up!

  • Absolutely beautiful Josefa! Gosh, preschool was hard enough! http://heartmama.net xx

  • Loree

    I was so scared when my son started school – that he would feel lonely and afraid and scared. But it is something we all have to go through. So I put on a brave face and left the tears till he was out of sight. That was 4 years ago and I cannot believe how fast it’s flown by.

  • Beautiful post. You took me back to my eldest son’s first day…he burst into tears as we were saying goodbye. He didn’t know anyone at the school. I had to leave in order not to make it worse. But it broke my heart. He is now in Year 2 and his brother in Year 1. It doesn’t get easier to see them uncertain and scared (they started at a new school site this year) but in the end, things have a way of sorting themselves out xx

    • it is very hard to watch them when they are uncertain and scared – it is heartbreaking xx

  • Mumabulous

    Letting go of my P1 wasn’t so difficult. She’s smart and spirited and I know she’ll blaze her own path at school.

  • Oh man, this made me cry Josefa! Mia is a while off school yet but she did start daycare only 4 weeks ago. I was fine for the first two drop-offs because she didn’t even look at me, was too interested in all the toys, Dave did last weeks. But this morning? This morning I cried because she cried. A lot of the other kids from the older group were in there and most were crying. As happens with kids usually, when one starts they all sart to get upset and when one boy walked over bawling his eyes out as I was trying to leave, Mia took one look at him and lost it as well. The last thing I saw was her little scrunched up face and outstretched arms and I cried the whole way to work. Hopefully next week will be better.

  • Rachel @ The Kids Are All Righ

    Beautiful. I got a hint of tears, but mostly I was very proud of how these little little beings front up to such a new, big challenge.

  • Grace

    Oh, just gorgeous, Josefa! The photos go perfectly with your beautiful story telling. I’m still a couple years away from the twinlets going to school but I have a feeling it’ll be hard for me to give them a high-five too!

  • I didn’t cry until I read a lovely note the teacher had for us – stuck to a little bag with a tissue and cotton wool inside – very sweet. Lovely photo of day pinning on badge

  • Twitchy Corner

    It’s not easy! It does get easier though. Lovely pictures, and lucky Daddy was there to do it with you x

    Our first day was fairly unforgettable- we made quite an impression on the Principal our first day. I have blogged about being sent home after my girl ran out of the building with the Principal and another staff member giving chase :/ Settled in eventually!

  • Sophie Allen

    It’s so hard isnt’t it! Thursday my #3 started and I was just so happy he was there, he had been waiting so long for that moment.
    Gorgeous photos Josefa.

  • It doesn’t get easier does it? They grow up way too fast for their own good 🙁

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