My youngest daughter started school today. It is the end of an era for me as I watch my youngest child take another little step (one of the many small steps she will tread) on the path to independence and eventual adulthood. She was very emotional when we arrived at school as there were so many people milling around and it all felt very alien and grown up somehow – she is still unsure if she really wants to grow up! ( I wonder if this is a youngest child thing?) but luckily her lovely Kindergarten teacher was there to rescue her and bring her and her many belongings into the classroom. I said my farewells outside and turned to go, tears in my eyes of pride, intermingled with sadness at the passing of the years.
I know she is ready for school now, but I shall miss the early years. I feel that one of the main lessons I am learning as a parent is to let go and to trust, so I can send my children off with a joyful heart to make their way in the world. At times like this, I remind myself of the wise words of the poet Khalil Gibran ( which I must print out and frame as I need to remind myself of this often):
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
Aside from my mixed emotions about my daughters growing up, the house felt really empty this morning after our long summer together, but there is comfort in the beginning of a new routine and the start of autumn always signals new beginnings, as we draw a little inward, start projects and make new plans. I think the head space will do me good and I imagine I will be able to post a bit more here too, so there are many advantages too 🙂
Anyway, I thought I would share a few photos of this milestone with you:
Here is C with the cloth bag that I made for her when she started playgroup and that has taken her through Kindergarten and now into the main school – it was full to bursting!
Right at the top is a picture of C with her Schultuete. She was delighted to open it and find all the school paraphernalia. She has been watching her sister using all these materials for some years and especially asked for a fountain pen which she can use at home as it is too early for that at school.
She was very happy with her little gnome friend, who will be called either Joe or Moe or even Joe-Moe supposedly!
In preparation for the first day of school, we read a few books. I don’t seem to be able to locate one of our little German books now but we read it lots in Germany ( lots of tidying up to be done after the long summer break, methinks!).
Puddle’s Big Step is C’s favourite book as I read it to her when she started Playgroup and Kindergarten.Little Puddle is very nervous about starting school, but soon gets into the swing of things and looks forward to it.
Fuzzypeg Goes to School – is one of the Little Grey Rabbit series. It is an old fashioned story about a little hedgehog called Fuzzypeg who decides he is ready for school. Very sweet.
Conni kommt in die Schule – a German short story about Conni’s preparations for her first day at school complete with Schultuete.
It is lovely that the girls are finally in the same playground together and my eldest says she will look out for her sister as I am sure she will. They are so close and kind to each other (well, a lot of the time!)
And of course it was the first day back for my eldest daughter too. She has a new (male) teacher and there have been quite a few changes in her class, so she was also in two minds about going back. I wish her well in Class Four. How time flies…