05 March 2013

Baby gets Enrolled (and Someone Else Wins Stuff)

Well, it's official. My baby is enrolled at school. Four weeks of School Visits commence Thursday March 28th. And then, first day of the new Term, he's off to school like a big boy.
Baby no longer.

Here he is in the office, waiting for our appointment with the Principal.

As you can see he is very relaxed about the whole thing...

It's just lovely how the new entrants are initiated at our school. Once again I find myself feeling blessed and grateful to live in such a wonderful community.

 Our Principal meets with each and every new student who enrols - a big ask in a school of nearly 900 kids.

Seeing as we know the routine by now (and our way around), we didn't need the tour, so our lovely Principal spent the time chatting to Scrag and getting him to show off how he can write his name (which he did over and over and over... until Mr S had to tuck the paper away diplomatically into the folder so we could continue the conversation about start dates and school visits...)

Scrag's work was pronounced "super" and he got a shiny gold "Principal's Award" sticker as well as lots of friendly encouragement.
Scrag took his sheet of paper off to kindy today and proudly showed it for news. He's ready.

But as for me I'm still trying to get my head around it.

Thankyou to everyone who took the time to comment on my post the other day... your answers resonated with me a lot and will be invaluable in putting together my next Parenting Mag article.

The one which really got to me, and brought on tears AND goosebumps was the novel-of-a-comment written by my friend, mum of four, Karen. She wrote:

I am thinking about this a lot lately as I'm in my last year of being a mum of a preschooler... it will be the end of 11 years as a SAHM/part time worker and the start of a new era. I still find myself out somewhere and seeing a pregnant mum with a brood of little people and doing a double take that that's not me any more. It feels like yesterday that I was sending my oldest off to school, pushing a double buggy with #2 and #3 and pregnant with #4. Now #4 is 4 himself and heading fast for 5, and I feel an inner panic, that my time with these little people, those squidgy, loving, slower-paced, cute-as, yet frustrating years are nearly over and OMG have I made the most of them? Have I really "loved every minute" as people (older women!) advised me to do... in the same breath as they tell you that these years pass in a blink... while you're in a back-to-back groundhog day of winter colds and tantrums, and pureed food, and spit up on your shoulder, sheer physical exhaustion from all the 'doing'… and it felt like it would never end!

But it did pass so fast and now I feel like I am trying to hold water in my hands... I can see it leaking out but there's nothing I can do about it... time is nearly up! But facing the looming 'school days empty nest' I also feel so glad and grateful that I have had these years largely at home with my kids... that we've shared the everyday stuff, everyday, good, bad, ugly and everything in between. I can honestly say I've had some of my moments of pure happiness in random little times with my kids. 
What am I most worried about? I just miss having that one-on-one time with each of my little people. All our time together is condensed into a few frantic hours before and after school. I feel like the kids miss the chance to just "be" with me and that I can't give them enough of the "good" mum... they all get the one-sized-fits-all sergeant major mum, rushing them off to sports and brownies etc. At the moment I still get some beautifulness with my little guy... 
What am I looking forward to the most? Time! I am someone who loves a project and I can't wait to have time to get my teeth into things...

Even reading this again now, I have been frizzled head to toe with goosebumps.
Like Karen, it's not that I'm nervous about school, or that he'll be OK or how we will cope with a new routine... not at all. In so many ways it will be easier and better for everyone, including him. He's ready. And I need the hours in the day.

It's the end of an era. A door is closing on a very wonderful chapter of my life. This part of my parenting journey is all-but over.
As many of my friends have headed back to work, gone are those lovely mornings spent together with other mums, hanging out over morning tea while our kids played. I already miss those day-to-day connections as we were in and out of each others' homes. The friendships remain, but they're different, as they must be, because our lives have shifted gear.
And part of me is sad for that.

Another part of me is the voice of endless nagging mummy-guilt.
As Karen said, Have I done enough? Did I make the most of the time I had with my children?
Because it's too late now to do any more. I've had my time with them at home, and have been blessed to do so. But now as they step out into the world of school  my influence will begin diminishing incrementally from here-on-in as other voices shout for their attention. Friends. Peers. Teachers.

A new stage of life. A new stage of parenting.
I don't want to over-analyse it, but it's good to just pause and take stock.
Be thankful for the opportunity to be a mum-at-home for the past ten years.
Then take a deep breath and realise that I've done what I could do, to the best of my ability.
I'm not a perfect mother, but I AM a good-enough one.
My tall strong energetic confident four year old is evidence of that. He's a gem of a child.
(Far from perfect, I can tell you, but the sweetest most loving kid, and hilarious to boot).
A kid like that's mother must have done enough, right?
Well, that's what I am telling myself.
I'll keep saying it til I believe it.


We have a Winner (for my commenty Giveaway)
Can you guess who wins the comment prize?
It just had to be. (Not only did she leave such a long and goosebumpy comment but she came back later and responded to other peoples comments too).
Karen get in touch by email, OK?

And to everybody else: thankyou. I wish I had backpacks for every one of you. But a selection of your comments will be featured in the June edition of NZ Parenting magazine.

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