Tomorrow will begin as a normal day. We’ll get up as we always do. Nobody will come to the breakfast table when I ask them to because they’ll be too busy playing trains. I’ll make the lunches I need to make. I’ll go for a shower. One of two things will happen then. Either everyone will end up in the bathroom because when I am in that room I become a magnet (true story) or they’ll resist the magnetic pull and continue playing, only for it to end in screaming because somebody wouldn’t move his train. I may have to intervene while dripping all over the floor and I will very likely say ‘please go and start eating your breakfast’ around five times. I’ll dash to get dressed having spotted a neighbor over the fence who doesn’t need to see me in my towel and, while I spend a long minute trying to figure out which season to dress for, quiet will fall and I’ll wonder whether they’re eating or doing something I don’t want to know about. I’ll then repeat ‘please come and get dressed’, ‘let’s brush our teeth’, ‘shoes on please’ and ‘let’s not use our toilet words just now thank you’ many many times. We’ll fall out of the front door later than I’d hoped but not so late that I’m stressed. My eldest will ask ‘are we late, early or on time?’ and whichever answer I’ll give he won’t be satisfied. As we drive out of our town and into the countryside we’ll all breathe out. My little one will ask for a story cd and we’ll listen while we drive through the beautiful forest road and past billowing hedges, alongside the farmland on our way to school. We’ll sweep into the car park, hop out, say hello to many people, trot up the path to kindergarten and there, right then, something different will happen. Something that hasn’t happened before. Something huge.
Not one, but BOTH of my children will go into kindergarten. This is doing all kind of things to my insides and I can’t even begin to describe them all.
I’ll just say this. He’s my baby. He’s three. He’s been variously attached to my boob, my hand and my hip for more than a thousand days. He’s big but he’s little. He’s ready but he isn’t. He might love it and he might not. I may be able to leave him for his trial morning, but I more than likely won’t. He’s both feistier than his brother and somehow softer. This is too soon, right on time and overdue. Late, early AND on time.
The reality is that he’ll – most likely – gladly go in with his vegetable (it’s ‘soup day’ and they all take in a vegetable for the pot) and his brother, providing I go too. He’ll glow from the grown-up-ness of it for a while and then ask me to take him home. It’ll be a short trial, which we’ll build from. For him and his brother, who has been anticipating him joining him*, it’ll be a lovely gentle transitioning in advance of properly settling in come September. It really won’t be that big a deal. Though in my heart it is.
The beginning of a new chapter. A step further away from him being a baby. Routines and rhythms shifting. Looking ahead to time and space opening. In the distance a journeying towards other purposes. Wondering what I’ll create and do. What I’ll grow from the seeds of ideas I have. A little exciting. A lot daunting. Wasn’t it just yesterday I was holding a newborn? My last?
All the feels. All the love. And the world keeps turning.
*Steiner kindergartens are mixed age groups of 3 – 6 year olds with a lovely family feel where the younger ones learn from the older ones and siblings are sometimes there together for a time. Just lovely for them.