Sometime, about a million years ago, I sent Zeph off to his first day of childcare. He wasn't yet 2.5 and I was riddled with guilt for sending him before his 3rd birthday. Zeph was a wild young boy and when at home with me all the time, I struggled to entertain him. He needed more than I felt I could offer so I bought him a back pack, made him some lunch and sent him on his way.
It was a horrible experience and one that I didn't document here in great detail. His eagerness for life and desire to move quickly were not well received by the day care centre he was enrolled in and he was often in trouble or isolated. Their preference was for subdued toddlers who liked mid day naps and afternoon t.v sessions and clearly my boy did not. The whole ordeal lasted less than 2 months at which point I pulled him out and continued on at home - muddling through with less grace and patience than I care to remember.
Upon his 3rd birthday we enrolled him a local pre school and I can safely say that it was the single best decision we've ever made for our young Zeph. A teacher with fiery red hair, a kind smile and the most joyful disposition embraced our boy and under her delightful guidance, he thrived. She encouraged bug examination (and release), elaborate imaginative discussions and really fast running. She's firm but fair and on more than one occasion has frankly said to me 'we just love him here' and without a second of doubt, I believe her.
Today, 2.5 years later, Dave packed a pink and purple lunchbox with fruit, water and a jam sambo for Pip. I brushed her hair, talked with her about the importance of wearing undies and sharing before placing that lunchbox in her bag and putting it on her tiny back.
She was overcome with excitement and as we walked up to the front gates of Pre School. As the four of us (Elke was safely on my hip) followed the shadow of an experienced Zeph, Dave held out his hand asking Pip if shed like to hold it - 'nope' she said with a little shake of her head.
And there she goes, walking out into being three, going to preschool and wearing undies.
Three years ago, when I first sent Zeph to day care, I remarked that 'Babies are only little for a while. They muddle their words, talk about balls, jump into cuddles and splash in puddles for SUCH a short time. A short, magical time'. Now, all of a sudden TWO of my babies are at Pre School - of they go, marching two by two.
I sit here now with tears in my eyes and I know I am blessed to be a mother. Today was just one of those days that I will remember forever. Her first day. The first of many.
They grow up, I stay the same.
I love them for ever.
I love them for ever.