Along with mums all over Australia, I have just recently taken my eldest to school for the very first time to start prep.
I remember the day he started kindergarten. It was relatively emotion-free – Tyson raced off as we walked through the door, finding someone and something to play with. He’s always been a quite independent, confident child, so I expected a similar drama-free introduction to school.
It was just that. Tyson handled the entry to school with ease. He found a first friend easily, as he settled in playing Lego, making the transition from kindy to prep quite seamlessly. He’d been nervous in the lead up, a little, but come the day he was fine.
I, however, was not. And it completely blind-sided me. I had been fine in the lead up, taking a relatively level-headed approach to all the preparation. What I didn’t anticipate, though, was the unexpected mood of one of my younger children.
When it came time to farewell my eldest boy, leaving him in the classroom for the very first time, one of my youngest boys fell apart. It wasn’t sadness at leaving his brother. No, it was a tantrum over not being able to play with the toys and in the playground.
His tantrum meant that my goodbye to my little school boy in the classroom was brief and affection-free. His tantrum led to three, yes THREE, time outs between the classroom door and the school gate.
I wanted to fall apart in tears. I felt lonely for not knowing any parents at the school to help lighten the moment and I felt heart-broken for this milestone of growing up, which leaves me with the realization that there’s probably, at best, only twelve summers left with my son in the home.
It was an hour-and-a-half later, when the twins were engaged with play at a McDonald’s playground, that I had a moment to myself, watching on. It was then that it happened. I cried. I did not quietly feel a little emotional. I ugly cried. I ugly cried my way through a small packet of tissues. I cried so hard that a stranger came over to me and said, “I can’t help but notice you’re upset. Can I pray for you?” Yes, brave stranger lady, you can.
I didn’t see it coming. Fortunately, though, Tyson didn’t see it at all because he, afterall, was just fine.