school kids

44 yo mum starts kindy

The way I feel watching Joey walk into the schoolyard every morning has taken me by surprise. It’s a combination of extreme tenderness and protectiveness. Please play with him. Please be kind to him. Please let today be a good day.

He doesn’t need me to hold his hand. Doesn’t cry or complain. Off he goes, in his oversized tracksuit with his giant backpack, into the fray.

Sometimes his friends greet him, sometimes they don’t. On the days they ignore him – most likely without malice because Kindy kids have the attention spans of dragonflies – my heart pangs.

Standing outside the gate, a newly minted Kindy parent, I’m a mess of feelings. Is this what it’s like sending your most loved person into the wild? Letting them fend for themselves, even in the safe confines of school?

Afternoon pick-up could just as well be the opening scene of Love Actually. Love really is all around. And while my son zooms off to get his bike, shouts farewell to kids in cars, swings around posts, my heart is exploding with relief and joy. This seems extreme, and it is. He has weathered another day and I get to reclaim him.

When Joey recounts his day, I ask gentle questions, seeking safety in his answers. And yet now, his truths are unknowable. He has launched into the world and is sailing for the horizon while I stand on the shore frantically checking the BOM.

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