Friday, February 4, 2011
When Home is... the Playground
It’s that time of the year again over here... when home for little people stops being the backyard and becomes the school playground. When the kindy teachers represent maternal figures, their classrooms become second homes and their classmates family.
It’s Ned’s first week of school and my second time as a kindy mum. You would think it would be easier this time around – for me – yet it feels just as hard. His world is opening up and will not revolve around home in the same way it has for the last five years.
He will no longer be my constant companion who enjoys helping with the shopping and the cooking; who likes to play with his jungle animals in the garden while I hang washing on the line. I won’t overhear him say during breakfast when asked by his father what he’ll do today: ‘Oh, we’ll probably need to buy some food and then mummy, Louis and I like to go for a coffee’.
Instead of eating our lunch together at the kitchen table or in the garden, he’ll be opening his spaceship lunchbox along with the 100 other kindy kids at his school.
Despite his ‘heart beating too fast’ and trying to push tears back into his eyes with little fists on his first day, and a concern that he’ll fall over in his new sneakers, it won’t be long before school starts to feel like home. He has his sister and his best friend from up the street in the playground, as well as other preschool friends starting with him.
And as for me? ‘It’s funny’, he told me after his first day, ‘but when it’s just you and your teacher, you don’t feel like you need your mummy around as much.’
So it seems that for another one of my children, our home will no longer represent their entire world. Now starts their journey into a world of many ‘homes’, friendships, relationships and new places of belonging.
A journey that continues for all of us, no matter what our age.