Monday, January 4, 2010

Back to School Butterflies

I've had them every year since I started school in 1974 - Back to School Butterflies.  And they're made worse by all the Back to School ads that start on the telly the minute Christmas and New Year are over.

It didn't matter whether I was starting primary school, high school, teacher's college, every new school I taught at...the butterflies would attack with a vengeance.

I've had a reprise from the angst (for angst it truly is) for the past six years as I haven't been working and haven't had school age children.  Although I had a mini version in 2008, the year my boy started kindy two days a week.

But this year, they're back.  Bigger than ever.  My boy is starting Primary School.

I am still shaking my head and struggling to believe it.  Wasn't it just the other day that I was cradling my new baby boy, my first born?  I distinctly remember gazing at him (during a middle-of-the-night feed) and thinking I don't ever want to let you go, I want you to stay with us forever.  I fumbled through the mathematical processes to work out which year he would be starting school and finally came to the conclusion it would be 2010 (it took a long time...I was very sleep deprived), and with a sigh of relief thought to myself...that's ages away, I've got him for a long time yet!

Well, guess what?  What seemed ages away in 2004 has arrived already, and it didn't take ages.  In a few short weeks he starts school and I'm as nervous as hell about it.  But I'm the nervous type, anything everything new makes me nervous.

I'm nervous about getting his uniforms, his books, his shoes, his bag, doing his lunches...because I want to get it right.  I don't want him to ever feel different or that he doesn't have the 'right' or 'cool' thing, as I often felt as a child.

I'm nervous about taking him for his first day.  Walking into the classroom for the first time.  Seeing a sea of faces that we don't know.  Not knowing what to do, where to put things.  I'm expecting tears, from me most likely.

I'm nervous about having to get the gang (that's just three of us) ready EVERY morning.  Everyone up, dressed, breakfasted, hair done, shoes on, lunch made, bag packed, out the door and at school on time!

But it is time.  He's ready.  He's nervous, too.  But we'll both be right after the newness wears off.  He needs to stretch his wings and fly the coup (only during the day time, he needs to fly home to roost), and I need space apart from him so I don't kill him for a few hours of peace.

So my 'easy' years have come to an end.  I'm about to join the ranks of the school kid's mums.  I don't feel ready for it but there's no getting out of this one.

Wish me luck!!!!!


  1. Oh Thea! Just think of all the wonderful thongs he will learn! The wonderful things he is ready to learn! He will learn to read, lean to write, learn computers, play sports, he will learn to share, learn to play, learn how to do maths, learn about the world we live in! And thinknof now the wonderful times you can have with 2yo! Special one on one mummy time! How fun will that be! I truly hope that everything goes well for ur boy! Xx

  2. Oh, you've taken me back to my first son's first day. The butterflies and anxiety. I remember getting everything ready the night before and worrying about his school shirt being PERFECT. His lunch box was chockablock with every snack possible. And when his name was called (the first child in Kindy), the tears, unexpectedly I might add, filled my eyes. I was so very, very proud. Nerves gone. Relief and pride replaced them.

    What a special time!

    Lovely post, Thea. x

  3. Oh honey - tears from me too - I do exactly the same thing - or I used to, before my eldest went to five different schools. By the fifth I reached a nice compromise with myself where If she felt left out in any way, i could change that later. But coming up to New city and new schools from school with no uniform and no desks teaching in Reggio Emilia to normal primary school I am scared and butterflyey for both my little ones - what if i don't know how to do "normal" school stuff? what if lunchboxes matter more, what if shoes are more important?
    I'll be right there with you with the butterflies.
    And as emily said yes, special time with the 2 year old - you will love it - I figured it made up for the time I had with eldest before bub 2 was born.
    Enjoy getting the first little uniform and lunchbox and schoolbag - soon it will be a hassle...hugs many.
    Great post and love the new blog background..

  4. I am shaking with butterflies just reading this post! I am about to suffer the same moment next year when my little girl goes to 3 year old kindy. It's only 5 hours a week spread over 2 days but I am shaking with the fear of having to let her go. Very sad. Good luck and have faith that you have done your best with your little man with the small amount of time you had together. xx

  5. I shouldn't have read this Thea :) I know I'm going to struggle with my boy starting school this year and I had judiciously avoided thinking about it but now I can't lol.

    This year is huge for me, my daughter is starting high school so there are two big transitions happening. As if I didn't have enough change to get used to :)


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