#1405 And, here we are

The journey starts with school tours, hope and anticipation

And, here we are.

You cross your fingers and fill in the forms

And, here we are.

 

Iron on name labels and school lunches

And, here we are.

Nervous smiles and a heart full of dreams – theirs AND ours

And, here we are.

 

There are good days, full of playground fun and new friends

And, here we are.

There are days where you make a meeting with the teacher

And, here we are.

 

There are mornings when they do all their chores!

And, here we are.

And then there are those where you both cry before walking out the front door

And, here we are.

 

On cold mornings you count down to school holidays

And, here we are.

On sunshine-y days you count down to school holidays

And, here we are.

 

You do their hair 17 different ways

And, here we are.

You make their lunchbox 84 different ways… longing for a break

And, here we are.

 

New friends and play dates

And, here we are.

Birthday parties and lollies galore

And, here we are.

 

Colourful posters and a million artworks

And, here we are.

Scratches all over their arms and legs

And, here we are.

 

Grumpy moody tired children

And, here we are.

Grumpy moody tired parents

And, here we are.

 

They learn so much and grow even more

And, here we are.

But all things, eventually come to an end…

And, here we are.

 

I sat in the car this morning, looked back at baby girl and said –

“And, here we are!”

And as I walked her to school for the last time of her prep days,

I felt myself get choked up, emotional and teary.

 

And I thought, just like that.

Here we are.

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#1397 The hair can wait, but the help can’t

Today I attended a Parent Helpers Morning Tea at baby girl’s school.

I wrote some time ago that I got the invite to the tea and happily accepted. To be honest, I was feeling a bit shit this morning and actually contemplated pulling out.

On top of my hesitation, I had called my hairdresser this morning to cancel my upcoming appointment with them, since it clashed with me helping out baby girl at swimming.

Why was I going?

I was busy already.

What was the point?

What made me say yes in the first place?

I had these questions circling through my mind, but at the same time the thought of not going didn’t sit right with me either.

So I went… and oh man am I glad I did.

Firstly, I had a really great time. I caught up with other parents and baby girl’s teacher, and it was lovely to be in a slightly different social setting without our kids screaming “Mum look at me!” from the playground at pick-up.

Oh, my THE SPREAD. It was this insanely long table with all kinds of sandwiches, rolls and wraps, fruit and snacks and chocolate and cake and sweets and crackers and everything in between… it was amazing. The coffee and tea window was set up and moving quickly despite the long line, and all in all it was a really well organised morning tea.

But then the principal spoke, and thanked us… she pointed out and spoke about an elderly gentleman, telling us that despite his flailing health, he had been volunteering and helping kids at the school with their reading for 11 years now. I looked at the sombre-looking frail man hanging his head, wishing he would hold it up high. Tears gathered in my eyes and I willed myself to not be a sook by taking a big sip of my tea.

What a man.

Then there were two students who had made up poems for all the helpers. They read them out, and though they were simple, they were so, so sweet, and totally pulled at my heart-strings. I was standing there thinking “damn it, I’m not supposed to cry.”

And then I realised. I realised that all of us in there, all of the helpers really did deserve this special morning. We deserved the thanks. I was reminded of how only that morning I had cancelled my hair appointment as I had forgotten over a month ago when I booked it, that it clashed with the last swimming session baby girl had through the school.

Baby girl wanted me there at swimming, and I couldn’t let her down. I cancelled my pre-Christmas hair appointment instead.

But secretly, someone was looking out for me. Because when I called to cancel, the hairdresser was able to fit me in next week with her… at a better and more convenient time than the original one would have been anyway.

So, winning.

I made the morning tea. I gratefully accepted the thanks amongst so many more.

I cancelled the hair appointment and made that tiny sacrifice for baby girl…

And I was thanked.

These sacrifices we make, big or small, are all eventually noticed… if not by friends, family or your child’s school… then by the Universe. ♥

#1394 The first Christmas concert

You can be sure when your child first enters the education system, you will quickly encounter a lot of firsts.

Their first excursion.

Their first award.

Their first sick bay visit.

Their first bestie.

Their first fight…

Their first, Christmas concert. 🎄🎶

“We’ve got a good number of years of this ahead of us,” I whispered to Hubbie as we lay on the picnic blanket on the school’s lawn this evening.

It was warm, and most of it was before the sudden 20 degree drop in temperature signalling the cool change.

There were Christmas songs… both in and out of key.

Traditional carols and contemporary tunes.

Daggy Christmas jokes: “What do you call someone scared of Santa?”

“Claus-trophobic.”

😂🤪🙄

Oh God I know, they were so bad you had to laugh.

Choreographed kiddy dance numbers and a Christmas raffle draw. The Christmas concert had it all.

But mostly for us, it had our girl, up with the rest of the preps singing “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.”

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That’s her before the show, telling me to stop taking pics… can you see?

(That’s okay, you’re not meant to 😂)

It was long, it was windy, and we were hungry… but to be honest, I loved the off-key notes.

The kids dancing off-stage before they walked on to their own show.

The strong change that blew hats and empty water bottles across the oval, cooling us all down.

I even loved the daggy jokes.

I generally love Christmas, and I love how baby girl’s school seems to really love it too.

🥰❤

 

 

 

#1389 The Tunes!

“TUNE!”

It’s what Hubbie yells when a great song comes on the radio.

But today it was me getting excited by the music. We had just been Christmas shopping, and our efforts had been great… we got a lot of stuff including baby girl’s pressies, which was timely seeing as she was at school and had NO IDEA.

On a high from being so Christmas productive, I was happy to hear a song come on the radio, and I immediately turned it up.

“Best movie ending ever,” I said to Hubbie excitedly. “How great is the climax? He comes back after being rejected from the dance company, rejected by her Dad, and he rebels against it ALL, takes her hand, on-stage, and brings the house down as they start to dance.”

“Then the bosses realises,” I still rambled, “‘hey, the holiday-ers actually like this stuff,’ and her Dad goes ‘oh I was wrong about him,’ and it is just sooooo satisfying!”

What movie am I talking about? You should know by now.

Time of my Life, from the ‘Dirty Dancing’ soundtrack.

As if that wasn’t enough to get me happy… as soon as it ended, another great song.

I turned the volume up really high. The max I usually have it on is about 16, maybe 17 or 18 if I’m really excited and driving down the freeway on a hot night with the windows open.

And that’s still loud.

Today I turned it up to 20. Hubbie thought the speakers might burst.

But you know, all great songs MUST be played really loud. Like this one:

INXS’ Don’t Change. I absolutely love this song. I love the cyclical 80s film clip. I love the way Michael Hutchence dances. I love the band’s youthfulness and open disregard for structure and rules. I love the time it encapsulates, but most of all I love how it’s just a really awesome song and has some great words which you should learn and sing along to too…

“Resolution of happiness

Things have been dark for too long

Don’t change for you

Don’t change a thing for me…”

#1383 The (no) friend game

It’s not pleasant as a parent to hear that your child hasn’t had the best day.

Worse still, when they say “I wanted to play with them and they wouldn’t let me.”

It still stings to write and think about, and this is a story in hindsight.

But it happened, and it happens, and unfortunately it’s one of those things that will continue to happen, for almost all kids at one time or another in their schooling life.

Baby girl told me the above yesterday, and it ate me up WHOLE. I feel so intrinsically connected to her that I myself was slighted by the fact that some girls hadn’t let her play with them, and she’d had to succumb to playing on her own.

Hubbie told me what he always tells me: “it’s how kids are. They can be shitty.”

Yeah, I get it. It doesn’t mean that it hurts any less.

Seriously, it is so much harder for the parents. Kids are fairly resilient. Although baby girl pointedly told me what happened, it didn’t seem to affect her mood or disposition, and I had to remember that out of all the days of the year she had been at school so far, she had said something like the above, only a handful of times.

So, where is my gratitude? Well today she told me she played hide and seek, tag, and red light green light with half her class. I was grateful to hear she had a good day, grateful that she had friends to play with, and grateful that, most of the time, she is a lot tougher than me. ♥

#1382 Brunch and Beach

This Wednesday after dropping off baby girl at school, Hubbie and I first brunched at this amazing hipster-vegan-beachy cafe on the best end of Main Street (ah, the water end of course ;))…

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And it was delicious and filling and sweet but HEALTHY. And we sipped coffee and read the paper and it was bliss. 🙂

Then I took him on an adventure.

A while ago I wandered a different path out of curiosity. It was close to home and I turned here, there and everywhere, ending up at three different lookouts to the Port Phillip Bay.

It was amazing. I did it alone and it was somewhat terrifying since I didn’t know where I was going, but it was thrilling at the same time.

I took him there after brunch.

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Some of my fave quotes of his:

“You walked here, BY YOURSELF???”

“Just stop for a moment… stand here… breathe in. Can you smell the sea salt?”

“Another lookout?”

It was a really lovely mini adventure we had, and I was happy to show him something I had discovered… on my own. And now, it is ours.

 

#1376 Clearing her early artwork

Here’s something no one probably knows about me.

I have kept every single piece of artwork that baby girl has EVER brought home from kinder and primary school.

EVER.

Now you may not think this is much, her being nearly at the end of prep and all and still so early into her education… but if you combine this year, with her 3 and 4 year-old years of kinder, and top that with the knowledge that baby girl LOVES painting and crafty things and even made it her subconscious mission to bring home about 2-3 artworks per day when she was at kinder, well that equates to one impressive collection.

I have kept it all, sure. But the place I have been shoving it all into (i.e. spare cupboard) is bursting at the seams with this art, and I for one had to find another way.

Enter the phone, and the idea.

!

I couldn’t part with these artworks, I just couldn’t. But at the same time I HAD SO MANY. At this rate I should have bought the house next door just to accommodate her take-home stuff, and that would have been one expensive storage solution.

So I decided to do with her artwork, what I do with all those photos I take that I don’t develop.

I store them digitally.

I set about today taking photos of every single piece of her art from kinder years. I’ll get to primary school in due time 😉 I lay them out and snapped away, throwing out piles and piles of paper to feed the recycling bin, while I kept what is a minutely small pile in comparison.

Well I have to keep something, duh.

I feel better already. And though it’s only the beginning of my clearing process, the weight has already begun to lift off my shoulders…