There’s something been troubling me over the past few days and it’s been hard to put my finger on what it is.
Then just yesterday I was taking my eldest back into her school after a doctor’s appointment. A teaching assistant saw me and simply took my daughter’s hand, said “thank you!” very nicely to me and turned away, with my daughter happily trotting alongside her back to her class.
That’s when I saw the reality that had been trying to surface in my new-to-the-school-run addled mind: she’s not just our responsibility anymore. And she doesn’t need me as much. She didn’t even look back.
And it’s completely great and just what we wanted. She’s taken to it like a duck to water, wonders why she can’t go to school at the weekend and comes home every day splashed with paint or chalk and with a number of colourful drawings in her bag. She’s learned all about dinosaurs (they lived “years and years ago – probably about a hundred years, Mummy”. She’s been on the gold star (and she’s had an ‘amber square’ for not listening the first time – cue my first ‘I’m trying not to look guilty’ mum face!).
But it’s unsettling, too – for me. It takes a bit of getting used to, this relinquishing of some of the tethers of motherhood. It feels like my vision of me and my role in my daughter’s life is slowly recalibrating.
It’s only preschool this year – she doesn’t even do full days. Which is probably just as well or my brain may well explode.
Wow it’s tiring too. My youngest is still with a childminder, who also does the school run when I’m at work part of the week. Sunday evenings is now a case of “Argh! I forgot to put the medication form in the school bag. Argh! I forgot to tell the childminder that the medication form is in the schoolbag. Argh! I forgot to email the school office to tell them the medication form will be in the schoolbag”…and so forth. But that will settle in time.
I feel blessed that our daughter has taken to it so well. Maybe she should give her Mum some tips…