The brutal Summer heat seems to be finally fading. Days with a high of 85 degrees (28 celsius) are feeling positively balmy now and leaving the house is much more pleasant. This year though the autumn hastening towards us carries the chill of an alien set of emotions. Our final August days were spent as a countdown to school starting in earnest for Sam.
Although I’m overjoyed and feel like we won the lottery getting Sam a much coveted space at the public montessori school I’m feeling a little blue about it too. Before his name got plucked from the waiting list I mentally prepared for another year of Open Door School, and was excited that Bea would be joining him there in the two’s class a couple of mornings a week. But now Sam won’t be returning to Open Door School and it feels like his innocent preschool days of play are over. He’s heading into the official public school system, scaling up to classes a full five days a week, and I am awash with angst for him as he starts big boy school. I fear that my little boy is growing up and his childhood beginning to accelerate away already.
I’m not going to be one of those mums in floods of tears, or getting overly protective and controlling or anything. It’s going to be a great step forward for my independent little man. It’s just a big change and I can’t help but feel melancholy as I step back to watch him start his own journey.
In an attempt to ease Sam into the idea of an exciting new school we decided to make his first visit a special outing. Daddy came home from work to take him to the Open Day. All dressed up in new school clothes he picked out himself, and carrying a fresh green backpack stuffed with supplies, Sam eagerly left hand in hand with Daddy to meet his new teacher. No crazy little sister tagging along, just the boys.
It went really well and the pair were at the school for much longer than I anticipated. They toured the grounds, sat awhile in the cafeteria, visited his new classroom and were introduced to the lady with whom Sam will be spending a good chunk of his daylight hours from now on. Sam came home smiling and happy. He chattered on about Noodle, the little finch with orange cheeks who lives in the classroom. Sam has immediately declared his love for Noodle, is excited to see him again soon and will make sure that he always has water. Bill declared Sam’s first school visit a success. I had just about adjusted to the idea of my unsuspecting little Sam embarking on his long school career and was relieved when his first experience seemed to be such a good one.
What I wasn’t prepared for was Bea’s reaction to her brother’s departure. She watched wide eyed as Sam left for school with Daddy. She fetched her bee boots from the closet and put them on herself. She found the little rucksack that I use to tote her supplies and managed to hoist that onto her back. I found her at the front door. She was ready for school and desperately trying to leave the house to follow Sam.
Dejected, she stood there with her head bowed, waiting for Sam to come home. It was heartbreaking. Considering Sam spends most of his time tormenting her, and she him, it was a real surprise to find her so torn up about his absence.
Only a giant scoop of green ice cream in the forbidden green bowl (big brother hogs anything green) eventually lured her from her spot and coaxed a smile from the baby Bea.