The Chop Does Big School- Part One

by Lori Dwyer on January 30, 2013 · 12 comments

The Chop starts Big School this Thursday.

He’s delighted, more excited than I’ve ever seen him. Ready, in fact, to go off and catch the school bus alone, should I let him (not likely…).

I’m… OK with it. I doubt very much that I’ll be one of the mums–in–tears. I’m not sure my emotional state even allows for that level of sensitivity, or I’d be a mess every single freaking day.

But there’s certainly something poignant and bittersweet and happy–sad about it. I’m so infinitely proud of my mature, kind, practical, sensible, inquisitive little boy.

The First Day of Big School rushed in quickly after seeming to dawdle for months, frustrating both myself and my son with how very far away it seemed. And now that its here, I’m slightly terrified by the reality of it. How did this happen so quickly? Why did it take me until now to realize that this is it– he will no longer have me to shepherd him through treacherous social situations. And it’s the social side that scares me… he’s just a baby, really.

And, of course, he’s my baby.

So I worry. Have I taught him enough…? In all that time that I was living in my own scorching, repeating reality; did I talk enough, show him love and affection…?

I know the answer to that is– I didn’t. And I’ve no doubt that made him tougher, made him grow up faster than he should have. But whether it led to a crumbling, spongy self esteem on the inside… I’m never sure.

And the best I can do about it is make up for lost time. Tell him, now a hundred times a day that I love him, I adore him, that he’s awesome. And cross my fingers that I’ve taught him enough, in terms of what he’ll need for now, going out into the Big Wide World without me, five days a week, six hours a day, without the close supervision of daycare and the familiarity that exists there.

Me and my big boy

Me and my big boy

I hope I be taught him to speak up when he needs to, to make himself be heard if its important. I hope I’ve taught him to use good manners as his default setting, to show other people he respects them without having to say it out loud. I hope I’ve taught him to be kind and friendly, to see the funny side of things. I hope I’ve taught that some people are just not nice, and its best to ignore them as much as you can. And I hope I’ve taught to deal with those situations that eventuate, that will always eventuate– the ones where everyone else is making Fathers Day cards. The times other kids tease him with “You don’t have a dad”. (”You do have a dad…” I tell him and his sister, after he revealed it to me one afternoon, months ago. “You do have a dad. But he died and he’s in Heaven. He would be here, if he could be, and he loves you very much.”)

And, of course… it’s that one that scares me most.

And that’s the over–riding feeling here. It’s not missing Tony, wishing he was here. I used to imagine how sad I’d be, without Tony here to watch our little boy begin his Real, Big Adult Life for the first time. But there is part of me– that deep, simmering anger that’s still pissed off, mostly on my children’s behalf, at my husband for leaving– that is rejoicing, tuning cartwheels of happiness at having this day, my son’s First Day of Big School, as my own. Because I’ve done this, over the last two years– the awesome little person he is, is mainly due to my influence.

I just hope that its been influence enough. Because when it does up, his dad and the simple fact that he’s not here anymore, I want my little boy to have the answers and emotional armor and ammunition he’s going to need to deal with it.

Fingers, well and truly crossed. And only time will tell.


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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Kim Bayne January 30, 2013 at 5:53 pm

So perfectly written and articulated that I am now thinking that my own Blog post about my little guy’s first day is unnecessary! You said it all! I totally agree about not being one of the crying parents…its a milestone not a tragedy…its a time to celebrate the awesome parenting that has brought them to this moment and have faith that they are going to be OK in the world…Happy First Day Chop!
Kim xox


Lori Dwyer January 30, 2013 at 5:59 pm

What a lovely comment- thanks so much Kim :) I think I’ll be putting the ‘mum’ back into ‘mum blogger’ the next week or so, to be honest- all of a sudden I have a lot to say on the subject! ;) x


Carol January 30, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Happy, Happy First Day of School, Chop!! You’re on your way, kiddo :D


Lori Dwyer January 30, 2013 at 5:53 pm

Thanks Carol :) x


Sapphyre January 30, 2013 at 2:18 pm

All the best for tomorrow Lori. I shed no tears (except maybe of relief) when my children started school.

BTW, don’t forget that all important photo in school uniform on his first day :)


Lori Dwyer January 30, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Thanks Sapphyre- I’m so looking forward to taking that photo, actually. He tried on his new school bag today- it looks huge!! ;)


The Flying Drunken Monkey January 30, 2013 at 1:59 pm

I can’t believe it’s his first day at school already. He’s going to be awesome, I just know it.


Lori Dwyer January 30, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Thanks Cass! I *know*… how did that happen?!


Kristie January 30, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Happy First Day of School Chop Chop!


Lori Dwyer January 30, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Thanks Kristie!


Molly January 30, 2013 at 9:35 am

BIG SCHOOL! How exciting for the Chop. I can kinda remember my first day at school – that weird mixture of terror and excitement. I reckon the little Chop is going to be just fine. Even if there are hard times and questions and kids that don’t get it, he’ll be fine anyway. You’ve helped him be strong. :)


Lori Dwyer January 30, 2013 at 5:58 pm

It’s bizarre you say that Molly- I remember my first day at school too!


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