“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.”
5 days a week I drop my children off at their school. There school is well away from the main road, and so I travel down a long path to get to where I can safely drop them off. I used to park the car every day, come rain, hail, horrendous wind, or sweltering sun, I would walk each child to class, holding their tiny hands, and waiting patiently with them for their teacher to arrive.
They needed that. My children were not confident. They were never the child you see happily waving to their parent from a distance, or the child lined up waiting excitedly to go into class. They were never the child you would see playing independently on the play equipment before the morning bell rang. Nor were they chatting happily to friends. They were all the child that hid behind their mum. The one the teacher would take by the hand a walk into the classroom every weekday.
That’s OK, they needed time. Plus I knew that they loved school. I knew they were thriving in their classrooms and making friends. I knew that their peers adored them, and that they adored them back. They just needed me to be there to reassure them. It took time for this to pass. April found it the hardest. But each morning as her teacher took her hand, and she would walk into class, I knew she would have a lovely day.
Adam, my youngest, age 7, has just begun year two, which is his third year of primary school. He is happy to be dropped off and not want me to walk him. So now I drop them all off.
The other day I was driving out of the school grounds and the traffic was moving slowly. I was driving past the part of the school that houses the Prep children and grade 1’s and I could see all the parents waiting patiently with their little ones for the bell to sound, and the teachers to come to class. The parents were chatting away to each other, some children running around, others by their parents sides. Some mums held younger siblings on their hips, or had prams with them, and I remembered how just a couple of year ago that was me.
I remember when Aspen started Prep and April was so small, Adam a newborn in his pram. Some mornings Aspen would cry, and I felt my heart break as I sent her off to class knowing her younger siblings had me all day. Then April started and she was so shy, so unsure how to cope with this big new world of school. I would take Adam home, just him and I and our precious one on one time. I felt guilty that April never had that. Being the middle child, she always had another sibling around. I would try to fit in time for just her, and I still do.
Then it was Adam’s turn. As Aspen walked with the confidence of a child now in the older grades, and April happily went off to grade 2 with no need to hide behind me any longer, Adam ventured into a new world of big school. New faces, and no longer in normal clothes just there to drop his sisters off, but now dressed in his uniform, his grown up blazer and shiny black shoes with laces. His massive backpack and an unsure look upon his face. My days of him being in a pram were long gone. I went home and there was no more one on one time, no messy toys, or annoying playdoh, no Peppa Pig, or Ben and Holly’s. It was freedom, but also it was strange, and a little sad too.
I drive past those classrooms most mornings now, and I see those parents, and I recall days of feeling overwhelmed. I remember feeling worried for my children, and yet excited for them too. I remember making new friendships, bonding over our fears, and laughing hysterically over so many other things. I remember winters of being freezing cold with big jackets on and warm gloves, begging the teacher to hurry up so I could go home for a warm coffee, and sunny mornings chatting well after our children had already gone to class.
Life is moving on now. These days my children walk themselves to class, the play happily before the bell goes, they chat to their friends. I feel so grateful that I have watched them go from needing to hide behind me, to now be happily waving me goodbye. I know this means that they feel safe. That I have chosen the right school for them, and I have given them enough confidence that they can say goodbye knowing I’ll be right there again when it is time to go home. I still cherish the huge hugs they give me, and some mornings there are still a few tears for whatever reason, but my kids are OK, and I am OK. We made it through those first precious years. I miss them, but I am also happy to let them go. I am forever grateful for those teachers who nurtured my shy children, and also for the other parents, now great friends, who supported me along the way. For not only have my kids come a long way, but so have I.
Now my eldest is in high school and almost a teenager, it is a whole new world for both of us! Wish me luck.
Thanks for joining me, love Mackenzie xx
Do you have school age children? Or children starting soon? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to leave me a comment below.
Have you joined in #MummyShot Instagram Community yet? It is a community where parents can tag their Instagram Photographs of their children that capture an emotion or tell a story without showing their child’s full face. As parents we don’t all like to share full face shots of our children on social media, which is exactly why #mummyshot was created. Here are some of the amazing photos shared with #mummyshot so far
If this is something that interests you all you have to do is tag your photographs with the hashtag #mummyshot and Catie from @animperfectmum and myself from @macglanville will show them some love, and then feature our favourites on our blogs each Saturday!
I also run my own hashtag community #livingfearlesslyauthentic this hashtag is open to any pics, family photos, days out, beauty, fashion, mess, chaos, and anything else that shows us living real life and celebrating who we truly are! The only Rule is Real Life. I feature my fav pics from Living Fearlessly Authentic every Monday.