The Princess heads out into the Big World of School on Monday. She had her kindy "Graduation" on Friday. A paper crown, a playdough cake & candles, being presented with her portfolio, hugs all round, goodbye. The uniform has been bought, the new school bag sits waiting, the books are all covered with shiny Duraseal, ready to be filled with the adventure of learning.
I really thought I would be pulling cartwheels - two kids in school and only one at home! Almost like being on holiday, surely?
In my mind I imagined only excitement about the new chapter...
I never considered the sense of loss I would feel.
Loss at my little girl growing up so fast. Sadness that I won't be popping in to kindy and spending those moments chatting with other mums. Mums who have become great friends, neighbours, allies.
At the kindy I have found a real sense of community. I have made wonderful friends, not just aquaintances. There's Karen (wise and creative, great company, fabulous cook); there's Linda (wonderful, funny, great company, kind and genuine); Meg (creative, compassionate, genuine, great company) and Nicole (fabulous, creative, unforgettable, hilarious, honest, caring).
Sure I'll see them up at school, but I know it's not the same. At school we have the luxury of the Walking School bus. We can drop our kids at the gates. Once the kids get accustomed to their routines the parents don't hang around the classroom like we hang out at kindy. More mums start to head back to the working world; after-school playdates are rushed and short, squeezed in before dinner - and they hardly ever involve the mums.
It's probably not helped by the fact that my little girl is a bit ambivalent about leaving her friends behind at kindy as well. I asked her if she was excited about going to school and she said, "I'm not excited and I don't want to talk about silly old school!"
She's one of the first from her group of friends to Move On to school. But I know she'll be OK. She's outgoing; she'll make new friends and we'll work at keeping up the old ones... until they join her up there.
So that's probably why I feel a bit sad. Change is hard! My little girl is growing up and moving on... and I have to as well.
But I'll take these friendships with me (and so will she). These are our friends and neighbours; we are allies in the battle to get our kids successfully grown up into decent human beings.
Our days will be a little different, they'll take a different shape but the friendships will continue - I'll make sure of that. But I might just take some tissues to school with me on Monday, just in case...
Thankyou and goodbye Mt Albert Kindergarten
October 2005-August 2009