When my youngest turned five recently, I thought that her first day at school would be one of the hardest days in my life. I viewed the milestone as something that would be bittersweet. We were effectively saying goodbye to the preschool days, as she crossed the threshold to school.
First day of school
With her “miles too big for her” school bag strapped to her back and her big smile of anticipation. She was thrilled and in the lead up I tried to be just as thrilled. She had been begging to attend school for years and finally she was a big girl.
I took the day off work partly because I felt I should be gentle with myself and partly in case the school called and I had to rush back. I’m not overly “helicopter” in my approach with my kids. I try to just let them get on with changes. However my eldest had a lot of trouble with this particular transition so I had a worst case scenario running through my head.
It was a hard day. I didn’t cry at all, but I got a bit misty certainly. I tried to celebrate the milestone of getting her to five years but really I was counting the hours until I could go and pick her up. Of course she had a brilliant day, though like all kids she has had her teething issues with moving into the school environment.
I thought once that day was over, that would be it as far as bittersweet moments. I’m not sure why I thought that, but I did. As this year progresses, I have noticed that I continue to have moments where my breath catches in my throat. I start to mist over and get a bit emotional.
This week, she lost her shoes at school for the third time this term (a less desirable but very common milestone). My husband found some old shoes that were her sister’s and proceeded to teach her how to tie laces. As she sat there laces in hands, following his instructions my eyes started to leak and I had to sit down.
This is not my first parenting rodeo, though my eldest is hitting milestones all of her own. She is the big 10 this year, and is becoming more grown up every day. Aside from things like, almost being out of her booster seat, or seeing her growing independence from me. She had her last school production this term, which marks the first of the lasts, for primary.
I heard her talking with her little sister the other day about a school situation. Apparently, she had encountered someone who was not as friendly towards her as she expected. I could hear myself in her words as she said, “Not everyone is going to like you, and that’s okay. You won’t like everyone either. We just have to be kind”.
The topics of conversation with my eldest are a mix of computer games and social injustice. She is asking the tough questions about why things are the way they are and it’s really cool to be there, to see her logic and help her navigate her way. She is still a kid though, and still needs me to see her that way for a while yet.
So although I can see 18 so very close for her, and I’m waving goodbye to all those baby days with our youngest too, I’m trying to focus on right now.
What childhood milestones make you mist over?
This blog was written by Kym Moore. Kym is a working mum of two, and occasional blogger. Fancies herself a writer, when she isn’t editing her kids’ vlogs or running their social media at Baby Likes Cake. Follow them on Facebook and YouTube.