Today was the first day back at school for our kids - and the first day ever for Lani!
Here's the kids before we left for school
We try to walk as much as we can - especially this year since three of us need to do more exercise! (Job, me and Benny)
We dropped JJ at his grade 3 class first . We didn't need to look after him at all as he was swept away by his good friends who showed him everything he needed to do. (sorry about the blur, can I blame my hubby??)
Next was Benny in grade 1. He was the biggest suprise for us. It took him nearly the whole year last year to settle in. We had a very shaky start to 2010 with lots of tears and quite a few faked sickies. His teacher from last year had a quiet word to this years teacher anticipating that he may have some difficulty settling in to grade 1. But, we dropped him off, said a quick hello to his teacher, gave him a kiss and a wave and he was fine!!!! Amazing...Hallelujah!!!!!
Last of all was out little Lani. Underneath my brave exterior, I was nervous for her. She found kinder quite difficult for much of last year. My kids are so used to being with me all the time that they have some separation anxiety......actually that's probably not acurate - more like post traumatic stress!! They each need to go through a bit of trauma before they learn how be be away from mum....and survive. Benny is getting there but Lani is just at the beginning. It was a difficult morning for her - lots of apprehension when she entered her class room. Took a while to get her inside..
...and she wasn't too impressed with the thought of letting go of my hand either...
In the end I had to ask for the teacher to take her. I pried her little fingers off my hand :( Said goodbye in my most confident voice and gave one last big hug. I hate the feeling that I'm abandoning her but I also know that she needs to grow and learn how to stay without me. Its hard and I know it will take some time. JJ and Benny helped prepare me - I don't think any of my kids could be as challenging as Benny was (that's a whole other blog!) So as much as my heart breaks and I look forward to 2.50pm for the bell to go, I'm grateful that she has a lovely teacher who I know will look after her.
Finally the afternoon comes around and I am waiting outside her classroom. The kids come out one by one....walking casually to meet their excited mums and dads (I've never seen so many parents at school pick up before) Then I see my Lani and she sees me. I didn't have the camera on me to take a picture as I wanted to keep my arms completely free for the big hug I was waiting for.... - and it came. She came running out to meet me, arms outstretched and face beaming with pride. I was so proud of her. She and the other kids told me that she cried on and off through some of the day but apparently from lunchtime she felt better. The boys also enjoyed their first day and so we had a celebratory dinner of Lanis' favourite foods - mini pizzas and blackberry slice with rainbow ice cream. I even put some candles in it for her to blow out. I felt happy, relieved of the burden that she may struggle for months in prep. The worst was over!
Straight after desert she looked up at me with her sad face and asked "do I have to go to school again tomorrow?"