The first day of school is up there in the great milestones of life – and I’m talking for Mums (and Dads) too. Little Yang seems to be taking the whole thing in his funny large-looking stride, but the seemingly oversized school shoes don’t look as big on him as the uniform.
He’ll grow into it.
We grow into things.
We celebrate those big milestones as magic changes, but in reality, while they are important markers in our lives, they are a culmination of all the growing we’ve been doing before-hand.
Little Yang didn’t go from baby to prep school boy overnight, even though it feels like it. I’ve been savouring these last few days before I’m ready to send him off with a smile (and a tear) tomorrow.
I think he’s ready. I know he’s ready. Well he’s as ready as he needs to be for that first day, and then he’ll learn and grow a little each day from there.
At Miss Yin’s dance summer school last week I met a Mum whose son will be starting prep with Little Yang, only in a different class.
In conversation, as her son was counting something, she told me he could count to 120 (I don’t think she was really boasting, just being proud).
Little Yang gets a bit stuck at fourteen, but hey, he’s ready.
Speaking of proud mum alert, Miss Yin stepped up to the seniors for the summer school – and she shone. Please indulge me, just a little bit.
Oh she’s ready, more than ready for the seniors, with her talent and dance determination and the love of it that shines through. She’s been asked to do advanced levels classes this year with girls who are two and three years older.
My heart is doing that skipping thing right now with the pride of being Mum to a new school boy and a (not so little any more) dance star.
But you know Miss Yin is also anxious and that resilience we’re trying to build is a work in progress. She managed to stay with her grandparents (along with her cousin) for three nights during the holidays but it was a struggle, and there were tears. She was supposed to be having a sleepover at a friend’s on Saturday but we caved and arranged for the friend to stay here instead. She needs to step up.
I’m working on tough love, but hubby doesn’t do it so well. Tough love got me an ‘I hate you’ message, when I let her know (when she face-timed from my Mum and Dad’s place) that her Dad wouldn’t be coming up to stay one night with her at her grandparents (who live 2.5 hours away) as he had, rather stupidly told her, but that she would be fine. We loved her and she would be fine. Mostly I get a big fat dose of attitude for that love, but hey, I’m fine too. Tough love is hard, but sometimes you need it to beat anxiety, let alone attitude.
And so despite a bit of anxiety about going into seniors at dance, Miss Yin stepped up, and stepping up was the natural place she was meant to be. She’ll step up for the classes too, and we’ll have to work hard on her stepping up for sleepovers and her big week-long school camp later this year.
Meanwhile after a nonchalant confidence, Little Yang has just started to get his anxious on about starting school (or perhaps that was just the ploy to sleep in our room again last night). Sigh.
And you know it’s hard to step up as a parent sometimes – to resist the attitude of giving up from the drudgery and thanklessness of it all, and to wipe away the tears from the pride and joy of it all, tinged with sadness at their growing up, as they should, as they must.
We grow into things.
When you start to feel overwhelmed and paralysed in moving forward with your dreams, remember that you are exactly where the universe intended you to be – and all you need to do is step up.
So I’ll put my big girl pants on tomorrow for Little Yang’s first day at school and I’ll step up – proud mum photos to follow! How are you and yours stepping up right now? How do you go with tough love?
Linking up with Essentially Jess for another IBOT.