This is a post I wrote as we prepared for the big one to go off to school. Now, in what feels like a blink, we’re about to do the same for the wee one.
To my almost five year old as he prepares for his first day of big-kid school,
I could open with a cliché about how time has flown by. How it seems like only yesterday that you were taking your first steps. All of that is true, of course, but the passage of time is obvious. What isn’t so inherent is the mixed bag of emotions that come with this new stage in your life. Our life.
At your primary orientation, I’ll admit that I was a bit teary-eyed, though not because I was sad, but because I’m excited. I’m almost giddy with anticipation about the memories you’ll make, the wealth of knowledge you’ll absorb and the experiences you’ll have over the next 12-plus years that will help shape who you will become. (Because I’m sure you’re not actually going to be the Hulk when you grow up).
I’ll take a picture of you on the first day, sporting your specially selected blue, green and orange school bag. I’ll see you onto the bus and follow behind as you make your way to school for the first time. And I’ll come to your classroom and give you a high five instead of the emotional farewell I might be tempted to make.
I love that when I ask you what makes you feel excited about school, your reply is always “I can’t wait to meet all of my new friends!” I can’t wait either. I hope you pick ones that will treat you with as much joy and enthusiasm as you will bring to the playground. Share your confidence, kindness and humour with everyone you meet, and always be yourself.
I hope that we’ve prepared you well for this new stage. You can write your name and recite our phone number. You can count to 100 and pride yourself in carefully colouring inside the lines.
Over the years, we have answered your millions of toddler and preschooler questions to the best of our abilities and now look forward to hearing all about what you’ll learn in a classroom with a teacher and a couple dozen other curious minds.
But what about all of the questions I still have?
When I’m not there to give you a knowing glance, will you remember your manners?
Will you be shy or will you be as engaging, bright and funny as I know you to be?
Will you eat your sandwich before your dessert?
Will you confide in us when something worries you or someone bullies you?
Did we prepare you enough?
Are you ready?
Am I ready?