My eldest son, Antonio, is starting school in September and we are currently introducing him to the school, his teachers, his classroom etc. Remember in a previous post, I mentioned I had buried my head in the sand over this one, well it’s time to take it out!
Antonio and I went to visit the school the other week. We met his teachers, we were shown his classroom, we were informed of the structure of the day etc. To say the least it was a bit overwhelming for me, let alone for Antonio. He seems to currently be in the perspectives of ‘avoidance, ignoring, it’s not happening’ and also one of sadness, ‘I wont see my friends anymore’, ‘i wont see my teachers’ (who he adores). His first and only question when we arrived at the school and for the next hour was ‘can I play football when I come to school?’. He even ignored his new teacher, whom he had met previously, very strongly telling me he didn’t know this woman speaking to him! I am sure it will be fine come September!!!
Aside from all of that, and what I need to remember to buy for Antonio before school starts, to take his lunch money that first day, where his class is, names of his teachers, homework etc etc, I lost my focus and was gripped by emotion. What is this about? Where has this emotion come from? Almost one of sadness, for him and for me. My little boy becoming a big school boy. I say to myself, it is natural, it is normal, it is the next step, he has outgrown nursery, and then why do I feel like this?
Your first day of school is such a big mile stone. I still remember mine. I was so scared by the big school and the big children. Maybe it’s my own experience that is putting a shadow over all of this.
How does a mother prepare herself for school??
My first step is to notice my emotions, acknowledge them and be curious about them. And also to talk about them to whoever will listen!! We all know by getting stuff out of our head and out into the open, be it to someone else, down on paper etc does amazing things to de-clutter and gain some clarity. Sometimes, even as you say out loud these thoughts, feelings, you start to get clear on what is really going on. My next step after that is to visualise the first day. How do I want it to be for me and for Antonio? What am I grateful for here and in all of this, allow space for the unexpected, good or bad. Whether Antonio runs into his class, waves me goodbye or clings to me, uncertain of what is going to happen.
Once I get clear on me, I will focus my attention on Antonio. What his needs are, where he is uncertain, how does he picture his first day. I will get creative with him, paint a picture, tell a story, inquire how he is through play to help him also get his feelings and thoughts out of his head. And through all of this, have bags and bags and bags of love for him and for myself.
Roll on September!