Thursday, 2 October 2014

Slipping Through My Fingers

It was a big day for us. Our firstborn was taking her first steps towards her academic journey; it was her first day at school.

It was something both Cheeky and I, were looking forward to; Cheeky, because of all the hype about “moving in to the big school". For me, it meant having her off my hands while I attended to my toddler son, without her endless questioning plaguing my actions.

Ever since we told her the school was starting in September, she would ask each day, least a few times. "What month is it?", "Is it September yet?"

photo courtesy:
Despite misgivings among friends about the school readiness of young 4 year olds, P and I were happy to see Cheeky off. As compared to the regimental style education we received as kids, we prefer this system, that coaxes young minds through play rather than a pedantic engagement with academics.

However, a school is an unfamiliar environment and I was worried she would be exposed to words, behaviour and information from various sources. A point of nagging concern, an unfounded fear.

Despite the fact that the school has children mostly from educated families, there was a sense of trepidation. Will she be singled out by the older kids? Will they be nice to her?

On the day, as the sun played hide and seek behind the clouds, Cheeky woke up bright and early, eager to get through the morning routine and get to school. She was excited and an early breakfast meant, she struggled to get it all down. Within minutes, she was posing for pictures to send her grandparents and be off.

At the gate, she rushed in to join the others, blending into the vibrant atmosphere. She was eager to show off her shoe box we decorated over the holidays, packed with craft projects and holiday pics.


 As she neared the threshold, she let go of my hand and joined the line, without being told to.  I saw a slow transformation taking place. She was excited but composed as she queued up and asked for her bag and the box. She was already looking ahead, her head full of what lay in store. 

As I stood beside her, it hit me then. My little baby was grown up already. It was time to let her go, to have her own experiences without my watchful eye over her. It was teary, a-lump-in-the-throat moment.

Somewhere, there was a sound.
She said “Oh, that’s the bell, I need to go, bye, mum.”

She walked right in, leaving me forsaken, without as much as a backward glance. It was a moment filled with pride and fear. 
Pride at having such a confident child, laced with a fear for the unknown.

As I walked back, I was gushing with pride; my eyes were flooding with tears and the song from Mamma Mia kept playing in my head-

Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it…..

It felt great to be a mother. 

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