(It's not often I write something so personal so please indulge me - I'll be back with the regularly scheduled programming soon!)
My little boy started school today.
Ever since he attended his trial days back in June, he has both been eagerly awaiting the start of school and saying he doesn’t want to go. It’s normal I guess – it is a big step and very different from the nursery he’s been in since he was a baby.
So it was a relief to see him so excited this morning about wearing his school socks, his nice new black shoes (he doesn’t usually like new shoes so that was another triumph) and his gray trousers and blue school polo shirt. He looked adorable and was so, so happy to go.
He even asked me to take his photo because he was so proud of his uniform – and as a good scrapbooker of COURSE I took several photos!
As we were driving to school he kept telling me and Chango (his stuffed monkey and faithful companion) how he was now a big boy and was going to school and could get dressed all by himself and so on. It was adorable chatter and he was really, really excited when he saw the school: “That’s my school!” he said.
We got out of the car and as we walked in the quiet building, I could feel him put his little hand in mine and said “I’m not scared mami.” But the fact that he needed the reassurance of my hand was telling me another story. He was probably more than a bit nervous and shy but he bravely went in and put his things away before sitting down for breakfast. We talked about a few practical matters with the teachers and then left, but not without a backward glance at our little boy, sitting there eating quietly while listening to the conversations of the older children all around him.
He looked so small and so shy but I also knew that he was being very brave and that he will love his school. It was a big step for him but he took it very well and I am sure that it partially stems from the fact that he has been in nursery for so long. He is very sociable, knows all the playground basics (to share, to be kind, to be friendly, etc) and I know that a lot of that is stuff he learned at nursery.
I know that going back to work full-time when Samuel was 9 months old was mainly a selfish decision: I was going crazy being at home and craved going back to work. But I also know that doing that made me a better mother as I was able to spend nothing but quality time with him after work. He has also learned so very much from nursery and from being around other children since he was a baby.
Returning to work after having a baby is such a big decision and most of the time mothers get stick either way so I decided to ignore what everyone else thought and did what was best for me and my family. And seeing my little boy on his first day of school so shy yet so brave, I knew I made the right decision. I gave him the gift of independence.
PS. Yes, I cried as I was driving back to work!