First day at school.....
Today is a very big day in the Life with Katie household because today is the day that Katie starts big school.
Her teachers came to visit her at home on Friday and that visit went really well. Katie ignored them for the first 15 minutes whilst playing on the computer but soon joined in with the conversation.
She is very positive about it all. She was delighted by the little toy puppy that her teachers gave her to keep in her book bag (the class mascot apparently had puppies over the summer - Katie looked at the picture of the toy dog and commented that it didn't look like there were babies in her tummy! Roll on the PSHE lessons!)
We've made a special day of it today to celebrate Katie being a big girl now. She got herself dressed in her school uniform and, as she didn't start until 12:30pm, we went to our local Waitrose for a cup of tea and a cake before school. Daddy and I are going to take her to our local Harvester for dinner after school tonight to make a real celebration of it all.
Katie has been so excited today that she could barely contain herself. This follows on from major excitement yesterday as Katie went to her first ever wedding. One of my longest standing friends was married yesterday and the excitement has been building for weeks! Katie (and me) had an amazing day and it was a lovely excitement builder for the other big event today.
She's been beaming from ear to ear constantly and chattering nineteen to the dozen about who she was going to see and what they might do at school. We had planned to meet up with a few of her friends from pre-school in the playground about 15 minutes early to help them re-bond and forge their first steps together. I hope with all my heart that her enthusiasm for school remains for the duration of her educational career and that she finds learning fun. Daddy and I have ensured we are very positive about school and Katie is desperate to learn to read and write. She already loves her books and I can imagine the amazing world that will open up for her once she can read.
When we arrived at the playground (in the rain - which was typical UK weather after such a beautiful day yesterday) the girls all skirted around each other a bit, looking a little shy and awkward. They skirted for about 5 minutes before skipping off to play. Katie was the first one in the classroom when her teacher opened the doors. She found her name on the box for her book bag and quickly identified her coat peg and shed herself of her raincoat. She then made a beeline for the one thing she had been coveting all summer long.......Acorn Dog, the class mascot! She asked her teacher if she could hold the dog and huggled it close once this had been agreed. Apparently sometimes Acorn goes home with a child for the night. Katie is desperate for that child to be her!
So I've come home from school and have about 2.5 hours before I have to pick her up again. Between writing this post, having lunch, working out some instructions to put a bush cutter together and chatting to Mrs VanderCave the time has almost gone and it won't be long before I will head off again to pick Katie up. I don't know how working parents manage these short introduction days. It must be an incredible juggle for them.
One thing I haven't done is cry. Is there something wrong with me? I've been told to expect that I will be sobbing my heart out. But I'm not. Yes this is an ending but it is also the start of exciting new times ahead. Having said that, I'm often on an emotional delay (especially after the emotional day of seeing my friend married yesterday and trying to build up the positivity for Katie starting school) and it might take a few days for it all to sink in. Katie is only part-time for the next two weeks so it might creep up on me when she starts full-time. Maybe the changes that school will bring to my daughter will make me long for the days when she was smaller and we spent all our days together? Mummy and Katie, holding hands and exploring the world together. Me protecting her. She will start exploring her world with other people more now and I won't be there all the time for her. I know I will find that bit tough at times. I know that I will feel the loss when she starts dismissing the things I say in favour of her teachers point of view. But that's how it's supposed to be. Being able to have those attachments to other people is such an important thing for an adopted child. I want her to bond with other people. She will always be my little girl in my heart. I have to let her fly a little bit now. So no, I'm not sad. There are plenty of emotions but tears aren't there just at the moment.
Having said that, I have tons of things planned to distract me for the coming months. There is the house to re-paint and I have some building plans to bring to fruition; hopefully a new bathroom upstairs. There is also the big subject of the adoption of our second child which is chugging along. I am actually (can I admit this?) looking forward to a bit of "me" time. The six weeks holidays were so intense that I'm desperate for a bit of time to chill out again and get back to my yoga. My back hurts. I need some daily stretching. Maybe that's why I'm not crying? There might even be a tiny weeny smile on my face. There is obviously some anxiety about the future and what it may hold for Katie. Will she fit in at school? Will she behave herself? Will school be a good experience for her? She's full of attitude at the moment and that has been quite trying at times - will that attitude get her into trouble at school.
Anyway on this, her first day at school here are my hopes:
I hope that my daughter enjoys school.
I hope that it opens all the doors it should for her and that learning is an experience that she desires.
I hope she has lots of great friends and meets lots of positive people.
I hope that being adopted is not a stigma for her with either teachers or other children.
I hope that she is able to engage with all that school brings and that her confidence will soar.
I loved my infants school. They were the best days of my school life I think (aside from an awful teacher called Miss Valentine who told my mum I was a little madam who needed a firm hand!). By the time secondary school beckoned me I was unhappy at home and school became a place that was somewhere I could get away from home. I didn't value the intelligence I had nor the learning opportunity that offered me. I did my homework at the last possible moment, preferring to be reading a book somewhere quiet or be with my friends. I found solace dancing and in the theatre and through ice-skating. I drifted through school, getting some passable results but not anything close to what I was capable of. Adult education has brought me a far more successful learning experience and the knowledge that I am intelligent and capable. It has also taught me that school isn't really everything. That there are other opportunities out there if you grab them and make the most of them. I want Katie to have a wonderful life and school plays such a big part in shaping the person you become and the memories you have of your childhood.
I hope with all my heart that both her school life and her home life are happy experiences for her.
Update: Having just picked Katie up from school and asked what she did for the time she said "I had an apple for break." me "What with the skin on and everything?" Katie: "Yeah" Me "So what else did you do? Katie "We played in the playground for a while and drew a picture" Me "Anything else?" Katie "I can't remember"..........and so it begins......getting blood out of a stone after school......
For all the parents out there....this gave me a little chuckle......