My child is starting Prep, have we prepared enough?
I sit here, literally the day before one of the most important milestones of our family and can’t help but write how I’m feeling. Not only to try and process such a momentous occasion, but to also document such a time that I truly want to be able to remember.
My first born is starting school and the preparation that goes into preparing for prep: the labelling of clothes, items and bags, planning of lunchboxes and snacks, drop offs and pick-ups and of course… ensuring that everything you have tried to instil in your wonderful tiny human for 5 years has prepared them for this moment in time. The commencement of 13 years of school to come.
But, I don’t want to sound dramatic. No. I don’t. Because I’m actually not feeling that dramatic or that overwhelmed. I actually feel a strange sense of calm and appreciation for the week ahead.
Don’t get me wrong; I have had months and months of anxiety filled ‘what if’s?’. I’ve read every article thrown my way on why it’s best to hold them back, send them early, this school’s reputation to that school’s depravation, working out age gaps between my boys in grades and any and every other teeny tiny thought you can imagine.
- Will he make friends?
- Will he sit alone at lunch?
- Will he ask for help if he needs it?
- Will he actually wipe his own bum if need be?
- Will he drink enough water?
- Will he apply his sunscreen correctly?
- Will he feel confident to speak in a sea full of new faces?
- Will he look for me or wish I were there?
- Will he focus and let himself learn?
- Will he…?
- Will he…?
- Will he… ?
Then I realised. He will!
And that is ok. He is 5. He is wonderful, curious and kind. He’s shy, sometimes intimidated and so unassuming. He’s boisterous, fun and full of life. He’s literally the juxtaposition of everything – calm and crazy.
And he will be just fine. And he will find his place. In time and hopefully with good grace. Because I know now, sitting here with just one sleep till he’s a preppie – that my husband and I, and all the good people we surround him with have endeavoured to support, help and create a glorious young 5 year old who can’t wait to start school this week.
So I take a deep breathe and I remind myself that this special rite of passage will be more than ok and that like all those before him and those ahead will have had bumps, tests and triumphs. But no matter what happens, the most important thing of all, will be that at the start of every single day and at the end of every single night he will know wholeheartedly that we are there for him with support, guidance, hope and love that he can do whatever he puts his mind to and he will know that he’ll succeed.
Good luck parents of first time preps. Good luck little preps. Be strong, be fearless but most importantly be kind AND have fun.