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.