My daughter starts school on Saturday. I don't know who is more excited, her or me. We've gone to get her books, went for uniform fittings - which she will hopefully get before school starts - and bought school bag, lunch box, pencil case, the works. She chose her own things and being three and highly influenced by Barbie and Walt Disney, you can see the stuff she's got: Carebears back pack that matches her pencils (given by her Auntie K), Fairy tale princesses lunch box that matches her pencil case...everything in pink! OK so it's not my favorite color, but then again, it's not for me :-)
My little girl is fast growing up. She's making her own choices. She's starting off into the world making her own discoveries and relationships that may not necessarily include me. I'm scared for her but I'm proud too. At three she has decided that she wants to go to school. She's been good at waking up at 7 am each day for a month now. She may have slipped a few times and called for an extension but overall, she has accepted the new routine because she wants to be in school.
Today, we went for an Orientation at her new school and parents get orientated separately from their children. When we got there, we were the first to arrive for the 11 o'clock session so she bravely entered her classroom where she met her teacher and sat like a proper, well-behaved student. I can see a bit of apprehension on her face especially when I waved and told her that I will be in another room for the parents' orientation. Her wave was unsure but held all the bravery a three year old could muster.
After the 45-minute presentation and a bit of Q & A from parents, we all went back to collect our kids who've had an orientation of their own. My daughter being the first to arrive is not seated at the back. Still well-behaved, still dry-eyed. Approaching the room, you can hear squeals of other children - frightened and looking for their mother or father. I stepped back a bit, expecting one of them to be my own, but she's strong. I can't deny her relief and happiness when she saw me. She stood up and ran to me shouting, "Mommy!" Outside her classroom she looked intense when she asked me, "Mom, why were my classmates crying?" How do I answer that?
As I slowly let her go to be the person that she wants to be, a part of me wants to hold back just for a little while longer. Soon I will no longer be the source of all knowledge and wisdom for my growing toddler. Soon, I will hear her say, "But mom, my teacher said...." or "Yes, but my friend said....." Yes, how time truly flies. My little girl is slowly coming into her own - starting at school.
So this coming Saturday, I'm not really sure who will be more teary-eyed at the school drop...me or Amber.