Leila’s big adventure…

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 1 - 2013

I didn’t think it would bother me.  I thought that I was immune from the neuroses of the Mum at the school gates, sniffing into her hanky and waving goodbye to a piece of her woman-hood.  I mean… seriously, I’m better than that?  I don’t need validation through my offspring!  Sure, I’m not the self-validating “woman” I should be… heck, the word “womb” still makes me feel a bit squirmy, stuff of a feminist’s wet dream I am not… but neither am I reliant on other people to make me complete.

And yet, as I sit here… a few nights before Leila starts school, I’m a mess.

You see, I feel like I’m losing my little friend.  My beautiful little creature.  Someone I’ve nurtured, led, and loved for the past 4-years.  It’s not even as though I’m letting her spread her wings to go and fly amongst the clouds.  We’re being parted… unwillingly.  Whenever I ask her about school, she says… “it’s boring”.  She had a couple of trial days, and on the basis of this, has decided that school involves never leaving you chair as you please… putting your hand up to go to the toilet, and being told what to do and when to do it.  And let’s face it… she’s a little bit right.

A wee bit rebellious in my psyche, I think of school as a fast-track to learning how to “sit still, shut up, and listen”.  Ideal for working life.  Wear a tie, wear a blazer… do what you’re told, and conform.  But at the same time, it does give you (in a round-about way) the tools to question our world… the most powerful gift of education.  Leila loves to learn, I watch her confidence grow with every number and letter mastered.  I don’t push her… I’m a huge underachiever myself, quietly disappointing people around me but learning to the beat of my own drum.  She thrives, as most children do, from praise… and the satisfaction that she’s doing a good job.  How could I ever wish for her not to experience that joy?

Of course, I don’t.  But I worry….

I worry that she won’t make friends readily.  I worry that she won’t have anyone to sit with at lunch-time.  I worry that she won’t push herself to make connections… just reach out Leila, please reach out.

She has a good heart, one of the best I’ve come across.  I say that with as much bias as I do earnest-ness.  She has a kindness in her that makes her give pause after a strop… a sense of right and wrong that allows her, despite her young age, to apologise without prompting when she’s done wrong.  I’m not saying that she’s rare… but she is a good egg.  That’s all I want for her… to love, and to be loved.

So my darling girl… as I prepare to leave you outside your classroom on your first day of school.  Shoes as shiny as they can be, lunchbox as imaginative as it is tasty…. show your true colours to your friends.  Let them know that you are good, that you won’t ridicule, that you won’t judge without good reason.  You will go a long way.  A long way.  And ultimately, you will be happy.

And then I will be happy.  And proud to watch you every step of the way.

Good luck Leila, you’ll be grand!


14 Responses to “Leila’s big adventure…”

  1. Katy says:

    Please keep all these letters to Leila and show them to her when she’s older. As an 18 year old, just finished school, I would have loved to seen notes like this from my mum!

  2. Hannah says:

    Ahh, this is such a touching post. I have the same internal struggle with the feelings surrounding my son starting school this coming week. I have been fortunate to spend a lot of time with him in his formative years and it is the day to day stuff I will miss the most. He has the kind of energy and enthusiasm for life that can make practically anything enjoyable. I do feel a sense of loss as I am knocking on 40 now and it is doubtful I will do it all again, but I know it’s time for both of us to spread our wings. May the force be with them! Good luck to you and Leila on her first day. 🙂

  3. Trona says:

    aw you’ve made me all weepy! lovely post x

  4. FragrantWitch says:

    Parenting is such a bittersweet process isn’t it? I cried leaving my eldest at school but trusted in her innate goodness, generosity of heart and intelligence to see her through. And my heart swelled when she came out beaming and gave me the biggest hug, bursting to tell me all about her day. It pained me that she knew songs that I didn’t, stories I hadn’t read her but it made our relationship richer because she could teach me and revel in it. And, now, as my youngest prepares to start Reception my heart is both heavier and lighter. Heavier because she is my baby and now she is off into the big world and needs to stand more on her own. Lighter because I know that she has grown good roots and can weather anything that comes her way.
    Leyla has good roots too, how could she not? xx

  5. Charlie says:

    Lola starts school next week. This post has made me shed tears. Its everything I feel too. Bless our babies. They’ll always been our babies xx

  6. Jessica says:

    Lovely words & post, good luck Leila! 🙂 x

  7. Sydney says:

    Oh gosh, you tug on my heart strings with all of these lovely open letters to little L.

    I’m sure she will do fantastically at school, and will learn to find the fun bits throughout a day of sitting still and doing as your told 🙂

  8. lwlhampshire says:

    I love your stories about Leila; you always express your thoughts beautifully and bring a tear to my eye! x

  9. Leah says:

    Oh Charlotte, that made me cry. I don’t have any bubbins of my own yet, but I think you’ve summed up how a lot of people feel when their little ones venture out into the world and become a tiny bit less dependent on mum.

    I found out a few months ago my mum fell into a deep depression after I started school. I was talking to her about my MH (something I don’t tend to do) when she told me she was deeply depressed when I was a child. She got choked up and said ‘I just missed you SO much when you went to school.’ I missed her terribly too and would far rather have been with her than go to bloody school.

    Leila will be away from you for those hours of the day which will feel so long and so short at the same time, but she’ll always come pinging back to you full of beans and with tales from her day. She sounds like an awesome little person and I’m sure she’ll make loads of friends. x x

  10. cinseven13 says:

    I hope she has a great first day!! (and hugs to you, letting go is bittersweet)

  11. NeenaJ says:

    Best wishes, Leila! You’re off an an incredible journey!

  12. JoElla says:

    Charlotte huge hugs honey. I honestly think the babies going off to school is harder on us, then them.

    I remember so well feeling this with all 3 of my babies. When I dropped off my oldest son, I did okay, not tearing up much. But when me and the other 2 pulled in front of our house, middle Son said “Mom, lets go back and get him”. He at this point has never been without our oldest, and didn’t quite know what to do. Baby girl was only two, fun, but not older brother kinda fun. Right then and there, I totally broke down and cried. Not a normal cry, but a true ugly cry, (so much so, I kinda scared the other two! LOL)

    It has been such a joy seeing the photos of Leila you post, watching her grow, seeing her bright and sunny smile. It’s almost like she has a whole bunch of “Aunties” around the globe being proud of her, as she starts this next great adventure.

    Charlotte, I am sure people have been telling you “it goes by so fast”! And while you are living it, it sounds so strange, but then one day, the first day of school becomes the first day of college. And only then, it really sinks in, that it really did go by so fast.

    So breathe Mom, just breathe, because now, as much as we don’t want to, we have to let go, just a tiny bit, so she can truly fly.

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