Throughout our whole adventure over the last 15 months, the big move, the nerve wracking friend searching, the dreadful pangs of homesickness, endless hours of getting lost in the car; there has been only one constant. The person who has been by my side every single day. Keeping me company when we didn’t have anyone else, keeping me busy when all I wanted to do was give up and go home. The person who has made me want to go out and find fun places to explore, who has insisted we visit the same park, over and over again. The boy who has developed a huge love of sushi, adores scooting everywhere, and always at just the right moment has told me how much he adores me. He’s been my champ. He’s been my absolute rock. He’s kept me sane, (and driven me insane) he’s kept me going and he’s helped me in more ways than you could possibly imagine. And here it is… Our last 6 months together!
Our last half year with no rules… No real time restraints. Cartoons at midday, lunch whenever we want, smartie cookies at 2pm if we want to, daytime play dates, spontaneous trips to the beach, movie afternoons when we’re feeling lazy, endless games of bad guys. This is it! The time has come, this is what I have been preparing him for ever since he was born. This is what parenting is all about isn’t it?! This is very exciting! Its nearly time for the next big adventure for The Wilson’s! Gulp…… From January (that’s only 6 months away) I’ll be going it alone. Without my main man, and chief Aussie explorer, Monty!!
He has his school place, he even has the hat already, but there are still so many things to look forward to gathering together as we hurtle toward this next chapter. I am looking forward to the first time we shop for his school uniform. Seeing him try on the shorts, his little legs peeping out the bottom. Watching him choose his shirts and his school bag. Helping him find his first school lunchbox, and trying to persuade him the healthy snacks are best. The first time I help him label his belongings, which will no doubt be lying in lost property at the end of every day. Reassuring him all the time, that this will be such a great chapter in his life.
I look forward to the night before his first day, to stroke his hair and tell him what a wonderful adventure awaits him. To know he is excited, and ready to go. I’ll lay out his clothes, I’ll shine his shoes, I’ll set the alarm…. We can’t be late. It may be the end of an era, but what an awesome time we’ve had and what joy is ahead.
The first school day, I will put those little feet into his first pair of school shoes, and see his proud stance as he poses for his obligatory ‘first day of school’ photo.
We will walk hand in hand to the classroom for the first time, he will look at me and I will smile. I will smile because he will be eager, I will smile because we will have been waiting for this moment together. I will smile because I am insanely proud.
He will have his first day in the classroom, find his tray for the first time, find his seat, explore the playground, make new friends, be told to leave his lunch until lunchtime! It will be the first time he will look to his teacher, not me, for reassurance, guidance and love. He’ll be out in the world alone for the first time, I wont be watching over him, he’ll be on a new journey, discovering himself, finding out who he really is (without my input), what he’s really good at, and he’ll be preparing himself for an even more independent existence.
At the end of his first day, I will be waiting. We will have our first chat about how he got on, who he played with, his first trip to the canteen. He will come home for the first time, a schoolboy, with a head full of new experiences, and I cant wait to hear his stories. From the second our babies are placed in our arms, we are preparing them for these moments. Recording their firsts, teaching them to walk, to play nicely, to button their clothes with their teeny little fingers, and we rejoice with them as they triumphantly tie their shoe laces for the first time.
There is a first time for everything, and starting school is one of the most important, for all of us! This will be the first time I will walk away from the school gate with no one holding my hand. The first time no one will need strapping into their car seat for our journey home. It will be the first time I will come home from the school run, alone. It will be the first time I will get the laundry done without a little bored face looking at me, longing for me to build another train track. I will embrace this new phase, just like he will, and I will not feel sad. I will make sure I keep a smile on my face because I know the reason I will be alone is because I have sent my son on a journey of adventure and exploration, like no other. In January he will be in school in a country that is still fairly new to us all. He will be educated and taught valuable lessons, he will grow up in a land of opportunity and make his way toward adulthood. For the first time I will truly realise that this is what all the hard work over the last four years has been for.
It’s all been for the first time we wave goodbye at the school gate. Enjoy every minute my darling.
“To live will be an awfully big adventure” – Peter Pan