I'm not ready for them to start school

Or am I?

I’m Not Ready For Them To Start School!

I’ve had two of my three children start kindergarten now. I cried both times. The build up, the fact they don’t need me as much anymore, the sheer fact that time could pass so quickly. It’s all just too much.

I found the whole lead up to starting kindergarten exciting but overwhelming too. Taking them down to the school for orientation and Best Start assessment aided with becoming more familiar with the school for myself and my little people. But what if they’re too nervous to speak? What if they need me? I’m not ready for them to start school.

With our uniform and stationary list in hand, we went shopping for all of the supplies. Surely I’m not the only one that was rudely shocked by the price of uniforms! Buy them oversized is my advise. Squeals of excitement over unicorn pencil cases and dinosaur water bottles. Then they put on the shiny new uniform. Standing proudly looking all grown up, forcing me to fight back my tears. What happened to my baby? I’m not ready for them to start school.

Lots of dinnertime conversations now revolve around the transition to school. I wonder if they can sense my nerves. Probably. I aim to make the conversations positive about school and not constantly remind them how much I’m going to miss them. They tell me how many new friends they’re going to make at school with sweet innocence. What if they struggle to make friends? What if people are mean? I’m not ready for them to start school.

 

The email arrives outlining their sports day, library day and their first ever kindergarten teacher. Mrs Brown. I know nothing about Mrs Brown. Some of the wonderful benefits of working at Fit Kidz means I bring my children to work with me each day, and I have known all of their fantastic teachers very well. Now I’m a typical parent at big school. I remind myself that Mrs Brown and all of the other teachers are trained in education and supporting children’s transition to school. They are working with children because they are genuinely invested in their growth and development. I remind myself that I can contact them if I have any concerns, but maybe not during the chaos of pick up and drop off time. Am I ready for them to start school?

The first day is here. We’ve established some routines to assist with morning, afternoon and night time. They put on their uniform as soon as they roll out of bed and quickly shove some Weet-Bix in their mouth. We all walk to school together. Child, Mum, Dad, Pa, Grandma, Poppy and baby brother. Pre-COVID, this was a whole family event. I’m watching my child wearing a backpack that looks way too big on them proudly walking down the road. I remind myself that children are capable, adaptable and resilient. I am ready for them to start school, and above all, they are so ready to start school.

We sit in the hall and I simply stare at the back of my child’s head as the principal gives her address. All the emotions are so overwhelming I don’t even hear what she is saying. The children stand, my child glances back and gives me a quick wave before heading to class. I hold it together until they leave the hall and then it all comes up. They did it. We are ready for them to start school.

Melinda Williams

Melinda Williams, mother of 3 children and Education & Inspiration Mentor at Fit Kidz Learning Centres.

All stories by: Melinda Williams