So, the school year is now in full swing hey? 2021, the year my five year old started
kindergarten. The first day started with a bang. If I had have allowed her to sleep in her uniform, hat socks and shoes, she would have. The excitement was real. 6am my eyelids were already being pried open by her chubby little fingers. “Muuuuum, wake up! I start school!” I was excited too, so I bounded out of bed to commence the school day ritual. Day one. The lunches were prepped, permanent marker labelled every possession, the hair had been plaited in a school-girlesque fashion and the uniform was donned in full, including a checkered blue and yellow school headband.
Day one thrills hey. If only it last past day one. By day three she was waking up telling me she wanted a day off. Day eight she woke groaning asking me how long until the school holidays. Now let’s get something straight here, she actually loves school. She has a fantastic teacher who in my opinion couldn’t be more of a perfect fit for Ruby. She comes home reciting all the things she did in her day with glee. The formation of a new routine is a big transition though. For the first time in her life, she has a commitment that she can’t get out of. All January when her little brother was at daycare, she was home with me leisurely going about her day as she pleased. TV, snacks, beach, toys - AKA whatever Ruby wants. What a momentous change that has happened to her in a matter of days!
This is a transition we all make in our lives. We all have had or will have that very first day of school. There is a first time and last time for everything in life. I think especially when you have small children you become hyper aware of ‘firsts’. First feed, first steps, first birthday, first day of daycare, first day of school and we keep on going through all the days of our lives living all of our firsts and eventually all of our lasts until the day we die.
The day you become a parent is when you begin the journey of reflection. Reflection on your own childhood as you navigate the way with your child. Comparing and noticing the way you parent, the way you react, the way your child is, compared to the way you were as a child. I’m blown away at how much history can repeat itself. As I entered Ruby’s kindergarten classroom for parent teacher night, I was taken straight back to 1997 to my first time at Manly West. I was taught in her exact classroom! Twenty something years later Ruby is sitting there. Each day that goes on in the life of Ruby I reflect on myself. Who I am today and who I was at the same age as Ruby.
I was extremely shy as a kid. I found it very hard to make firsts in anything. But that’s the interesting thing. Today, I’m not shy at all. I’m loud, I’m opinionated, I often overshare. And how exactly did that come to change? It changed all because of ‘firsts’. The first time speaking in front of a school assembly. The first time dancing with a boy at the Bounce school dance. The first time kissing a boy at a school Bounce dance. OMG that poor boy. I read in Dolly magazine the day before the dance that you needed to do the ABC with your tongue. I wondered why he detached so quickly and walked off! Anyway, my point is ‘firsts’ are what make you brave. Firsts are challenging, but once you’ve done it the first time, every other time after that is easier. So, as I was sad to see her nervous little face go off to school, I know it’s only gonna make her tough to handle the next thing thrown her way.