Christmas is over. Summer holidays and the New Year have begun. But the focus in our suburban Melbourne home is on “how may sleeps until I start school”.
My son is so excited about starting school. He has been wearing his uniform like a dress up costume, around the house, to kindergarten and even the local park on a Sunday for a play.
His enthusiasm and excitement has been wonderful to witness. It has been so intoxicating that it wasn’t until someone suggested, “it must be a really emotional time for you” that I actually stopped to think about how I was feeling. I realised I felt an immense sense of pride.
Having a child is a huge transition for parents. In our case, life threw a whole range of other life transitions into the mix too. In the 5 years our son has been in our life, as a couple we have endured more than I ever managed possible. My early years parenting dream changed with it.
Yet, through it all, our son has still developed a sense of belonging and good relationships within his peer group. Going to his prep transition sessions he was comfortable and relaxed about being in the new environment. Everyday we see his excitement and eagerness to learn. It is a delight to see.
So for all the unexpected life transitions and the accompanying stressors and strains we have experienced as a couple, I have come to realise that Small Guy has adapted well. These experiences have helped him develop the skills to manage new situations like starting school.
There are so many expectations and pressures on parents. Everyone seems to have an opinion about what constitutes being the perfect parent. As a counsellor I know that in many domains of life the pressure of other people’s expectations is not helpful. I may shed a tear on my son’s first day of school. But for now I am just happy to enjoy his excitement.