I know, in the grand scheme of things, my week has certainly not been as eventful as other people's, but I've been dealing with a few emotional and stressful changes in my home life.
As most of you know, the glamorous assistant I refer to on my blog, the picker of competition winners, is my 11-year-old daughter, my baby. For said baby, and her nervous mother, this has been a big week.
Here she is, all dressed and ready for her first day in her brand new grown-up uniform with her big brother who is going into 9th grade.
Was she worried? No. Was she upset? No. Was she a gibbering wreck of a child who wanted to climb back into her mummy's arms and tell her everything was going to be okay? No. That was me!
She was meeting one of her friends at the end of the road Monday morning, then they were picking up three more on the way, so I knew she was going to be alright. Of course, I asked her if she was okay to walk down the road on her own, or did she want me to walk with her and wait for Kira? Did she look at me with tear filled blue eyes and a wobbling lip, giving me the only answer I needed? Good God no. Her response, as she looked at me as if I'd dribbled on myself, was....
"You can if you want."
Not quite the Kodak moment I was hoping for but, of course, I was going to go anyway, whether she wanted me to or not. So we walked sedately along. Me, unwashed and hair unbrushed (I didn't have time for all that. There was too much panicking and checking to be done) her with perfectly coiffed barnet, pressed uniform, backpack slung over her shoulder and a crease in her pants so sharp I'm surprised she didn't cut herself putting them on. The hubby trailed behind us with a rueful smile on his face, knowing he was there to make sure I didn't make a complete tit of myself by bursting into tears in front of anyone. My ability to hold back the emotion was sorely tested when, for the first time in her entire life, she refused to hold my hand as we walked along, but I held it together.
We waited for her friend. I checked her backpack three times and asked her if she had her lunch twice, even though I'd just seen it in the backpack I'd checked a nano-second earlier. She rolled her eyes at me. Hubby reigned me in. Not a moment too soon, as I brushed her fringe from her eyes for the eighteenth time and tried not to punch her when she pushed it back for the eighteenth time, Kira arrived and off they went. Hubby, very wisely, herded me back the two hundred yards to our house and pushed me inside. Which I was eternally grateful for, because if he hadn't, I wouldn't have been able to jump into my car the moment his was out of sight as he headed to work, and drive after them to make sure they were alright. (But don't tell anyone - it's just between us!)
The first day was torture as I thought of my tiny tot weaving her way through the crowds of big kids, getting pushed this way and that. I tried to work but didn't get very far, so ended up scraping wallpaper off the hall wall to keep myself occupied.
Of course, you all know the ending to this story - she came home full of everything, her new form, her new classes, her new friends. She even said she'd seen her brother in the dinner hall and they'd nodded at each other - they didn't speak, obviously, cause that wouldn't have been cool.
She's been absolutely fabulous the rest of the week, too. And I was surprised to note that, at half nine on a Friday night, she was snoring away in her bed. I'm liking that bit! And four days into her first week she got her first class merit - she's so chuffed.
I know we have to let them go, find their own way and we can't wrap them up in cotton wool and, to be honest, I never have been a clingy mother. And I know I joke about them a lot on facebook, but I do like them really. They're the best thing I've ever done. And when I tucked her in tonight and said, "I'm so proud of you for doing so well in your first week at big school. You're not my baby anymore." Her response was a bit better than the one I got Monday morning. She said, "Doesn't matter how old I get, you silly. I'll always be your baby." I should have grabbed that Kodak moment and ran from the room with it clenched in my sweaty little palms, but I paused for too long and she added, "Until you're dead." *Shakes head* That's my girl!