Friday, 1 February 2008

because it's all about her

On Amy's last day before school we went out and had fun. Just her and me.

Amy chased birds hanging out in the food hall during lunch.
Then we went to the cinema (can I say? some kids films are really crap. Not a patch on my recent adult viewing, Juno. What a fantastic film that is. Go see it!)

The obligatory ice cream before a stop by the hello kitty shop to really get her in the mood for tomorrow's packed lunch.

And then all of a sudden there she was all packed
and ready to go.

We walked to school, she went in and hung up her bag and sat down to draw.
Didn't even bother looking up when she said goodbye. No tears, no fuss. She loved it and happily went off today again with orders for smaller lunches (I was the last to finish and I didn't even eat it all!) and see ya laters.

Am I cold that I didn't cry? Is it wrong to be content that she is at the next stage of her life, ready, happy and we aren't sad to see the end of her baby years? I don't know. Although I didn't feel sad or anxious, I was sure I must be kidding myself, that at some point I would be taken by surprise and get all misty eyed like everyone else. But no. There was nothing but unmitigated joy for her and how could I be sad about that?

In hindsight we did a lot to prepare her for the easiest possible transition. Largely by accident, but I'll take full credit for design.

She attended childcare, a local community kinder and a preschool in Thailand so she had experience in different environments with different kids and different teachers. They were all unique and each offered her something she hadn't experienced before.

She goes to school in our street. She can see the school from her bedroom window, has played in the playground since she was small and rides her bike past the classrooms on weekends. She knows where everything is feel comfortable there.

She knows kids in the school, both preps like her and some of the bigger kids. Alumni from her childcare centre, local kinder and neighbors all meet up on the walk to school so the social stuff starts outside the gate and the classroom is just a continuity of what she already knows.

Both D and I have been students in Amy's lifetime. We talk about school, our school (grown ups school), her school (we called both her childcare and preschool schools) and the schools where mummy and daddy have been teachers. She's seen the classrooms where we teach, she's seen the schools we went to as kids. Schools are learning are something she expects to be part of all her life.

We are a family that doesn't shy away from change. We acknowledge our fears about them but go ahead and talk a lot about how exciting we find new things. We are in the habit of talking about what was best in our day and that often revolves around the things we have done or seen for the first time.

And of course, and here I take no credit except perhaps through the provision of certain genes, Amy is an extroverted social animal. School is her theatre and she's been dying to get out of the wings and on to that stage.

I know I'm being a bit, well, rational about this. Lots of things make me cry and lots of things make me emotional in ways that have nothing to do with making sense (like ads on TV for gods sake), but I just feel really good about Amy and school.


fiona said...

sounds like she is a grounded happy child!well done you! you dont have to cry it is an exciting step and she sounds like you have given her every oppurtunity to strive! off to see juno tonight hope its as goos as everybody says, have a great day.

Lauren said...

Your daughter always looks very happy in her own skin in the photos. Count your blessings, pat yourself on the back and enjoy the ride!

kate said...

Congratulations! It's always a bit weird reacting to a situation differently from the way you're 'supposed to'. Several people asked me frequently how I was after the lad's first day of childcare. My sister-in-law just sent an email saying FREEDOM! which was a fair bit closer to the mark for me. There were no tears from me either, he was after all quite happy doing drawings and having stories just at the corner of our street.

mixtapezine said...

YAY!! Reading that just gave me a tingle and a tear. Am's lunch book looks yuuuuummo!! justine aka 62cherry

kirsten said...

yay for all of you! our boy's first day went wonderfully well, too. and no tears from anyone at this end either. :)

Sharon said...

I agree with everyone else's comments... Those photos show a bright,confident, independant and sunny little girl who is happy with her world... Yes congratulations to you & yours for being her 'guidleines' helping her to embark on this next important journey in her life ...

sooz - I am hoping to do your course at the CAE.. Are there particular things I need to have in mind... Why I am asking is that my daughter draws different characters and I am hoping to use one them as a template - or am I being too ambitious????

Kate said...

I'm glad you are all positive about change - it make slife so much less stressful.
By the way I nominated you for the You Make My Day Award.

manda said...

happy for you that it was smooth sailing to school for amy. only reasons to smile for you :-)
when its a hard transition as it was for my boy last year...oh god...the tears wouldnt stop!

shea said...

Such a lovely post - you should be so proud of her and the wonderful job you have done. Great blog I love reading it.

h&b said...

Your front porch is *divine*, as it that Hello Kitty kit ( I want some for me ! )

I think I would be more happy and excited for my son to go off to school ( and only apprehensive later, as I worry about bullies et al ).

But it's a bit premature for me to say now, at the moment, I guess...


Berlinswhimsy said...

Hi---I just found your blog via Grace's blog and had to post a comment to a fellow Laptop Lunchbox user! Yay! I always hope that when I pack up my kids' lunches I'm sending a bit of love to them in their day at school...

Claire said...

Yey for Amy! Congratulations on getting to this big day so well prepared and full of joy. I also wanted to comment and say wasn't Juno just THE BEST? It made me want to go out and make movies. xx

tiel said...

i wondered what all the fuss was about supposedly getting teary..parents that is. I couldn't wipe the smile off my face when Ari started school this year. Partly because of the freedom ahead of me and the knowledge of mummy free time being a regular thing, but mostly because I was so proud of him being happy, strong and enthusiastic about school.

sexy said...