Tonight Marc & I went to the New Parent's Evening at St George's in preparation for Abigail's start in Nursery in September. We get to meet her teachers (who we already know and trust implicitly). And we got to meet some of the new parent's who don't already have children at St. George's. This is one of the many baby steps we take on our journey to Abigail starting school.
First we registered her, when she was just 2 months old. She was assured a place because her older brother already goes there so we didn't have the agony of the wait like we did when we registered Sebastian at 6 months.
Tonight, the school laid out what lies ahead. Abigail will have a "practice" day on 18 June. She will go to school. We hope she doesn't burn it down. Or get expelled on her first day. We've duly warned the school. We hope they take precautions.
Then we'll pay the first semester of fees. This will be a shock!
Finally, she'll start full time in September. She'll go 5 days/week 8:45-11:45 am. There will be 18 children in her class. There are another 16 in the afternoon class.
When we went through this process with Sebastian, I was frightened of letting him go. I was afraid for him. I wasn't sure if he would be confident enough. I didn't want him to be bullied. Or wee his pants. I mean who was going to help him up on the toilet? (They got him a little stool in the end.) Were they going to understand what he was saying? What if someone was mean to him? Would they make school uniforms small enough for him? (No, we still roll the sleeves on his blazer.)
I don't have any of these fears for Abigail. No, my sadness is quite different with Abigail. She's strong and confident. She's been potty trained since she was 2. Heck, she did it herself. She speak clearly and has a large vocabulary. You never wonder what she's thinking. She tells you. No one will be mean to Abigail....and get away with it. She's a drama queen.
No, I'm afraid for me. She's my baby girl. We still cuddle for hours sitting on the sofa sharing Eskimo and butterfly kisses. I want to do that until she's 16. I know I can't but I want to! Her going off to school means I'm getting old. I can't really say I'm a mother to 2 small children any more. I'm a mother of 2 school age children. Not quite the same, is it?
All children grow up. It's my job to raise them to be adults. I know this. But must it happen all so quickly? Who will I become without my babies? I know I should be excited for her but right now I'm just sad for me.