Monday, February 16, 2015

wednesday: ordinary & precious

Indulge me today in a personal post.

Wednesdays have taken on new meaning.

You see, my youngest, Sol, is finding his way at school for the first time and wednesday is the day he has off.

My heart is breaking into a new shape as I learn to let go and at the same time seek ways to hold on and never let go make the transition smooth.

It's been bumpy so far. There's been tears. Leg clinging. "One more hug." "One more hug," he says ten times at the classroom door.

On the one hand, growing, separating, gaining independence for both he and I is how its meant to be. Like the butterfly, once we grow our wings we can't squeeze ourselves back into the cocoon no matter how hard we try or how much we miss the security of what we have known. We must venture forward into the unknown.

On the other hand, I can't help but question whether my boy is ready. Ready to be in a classroom with twenty-one other children, and at recess and lunchtime in a playground with two hundred and ninety nine other children. He is a sensitive soul. Happy in his own company a lot of the time. Confident with those close to him, a bit at sea in a crowd of kids.

I sat in his class for the first half hour of the day last week and could see clearly why being at school feels more stressful to his being than joyous. One teacher, twenty two five year olds. The ratio doesn't seem right. One curriculum, twenty two different personalities, learning abilities, attention spans and interests. The ratio doesn't seem right.

But that's mainstream schooling. One size fits all. To a degree.

I love the school we have chosen for our boys. And yes they do teach children at their point of need, but its not an easy gig teaching. The teachers at our sons' school are dedicated and the thing that makes it bearable to leave Sol, knowing he is not keen to be there, is the kindness and patience his teacher shows him. If he is upset she gives him a hug and sits him on her knee.

In different words, some have said to me of Sol's resistance 'he just has to toughen up', 'its part of life' 'he'll get used to it. and so will you'. But I'm not of that school of thought.

I am in the very fortunate position of having time on my side and to sound all hippy mama on you, I believe very much in parenting the soul of each child. Modern living doesn't allow much space for this kind of parenting because it takes time and that is one thing most people are short of. I have time in my day to spend easing Sol into school life. The very thing I don't want is for him to have to toughen up or adjust his sensitive soul to fit in.

There's a difference between some kids needing a gentle nudge out of the nest and for those who actually find it stressful.

We are only two weeks into term but I have fleetingly entertained the thought of homeschooling!

I'm sharing this today because I am sure there are many of you reading that can relate. We are not alone and parenting is a life long process of letting go and guiding our children (and ourselves) through each stage.

I will do this stage my way though for I know my child.

I will do all I can to preserve his nature, by giving him plenty of time when he is home just to be in his own company, to paint and draw, to play imaginative games with his toys, to not feel any pressure of having to know the answers or to know what to say to other children or teachers.

And hopefully this quiet time at home will fuel him up to face his days at school, knowing he is supported and nurtured.

The other thing I will be doing is seeking out Sarah Napthali's book 'Buddhism for Mothers of 
Schoolchildren'. I love Sarah's writing. Her voice of experience and wisdom has soothed me many times. I highly recommend her books to you if you have school age children or if you are a mother of a newborn.

The photos above are from our wednesday. Ordinary & precious.

How is everyone settling into the school year at your place? Tears, tantrums or joy?


  1. It is a big adjustment, your first going to school for both the child and the's all so strange and in a few weeks time he would feel more comfortable than he did in the first week. He will make a friend or two and will probably look forward to seeing them each day. Maybe find out if he talks to one little person more than another and have a little 1 hr play date after school. I was in tears when my son started school (he's now 11) not from missing him (well that's a given) but I was so proud of him, here he was starting school. Nurture him when he's home and see if you can have a little playdate. All the best with this transition. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

    1. Thanks Kathy for your understanding. I was just thinking of you last night! Thinking I hadn't seen you here for a while and that I hadn't visited your blog for a while, but then I have been offline for a while. It is good to be back and good to have the support and understanding of readers who know what I'm talking about! x

  2. Such a heartfelt post - my son turns 3 in April, but I already feel I'll be sending him to school a year later than he is technically supposed to attend. You are so right about the dedication of the teachers - I cannot begin to imagine the intensity of 20 children for 6 hours...good luck to you and Sol, he will find his way. Much love xox

    1. Thankyou Audrey. Sol turned five at the end of November and when he was littler I was already wondering if it would be right to send him to school at five or to wait until he was 6. In some ways I wish I had waited. But I didn't, so we are going with where we're at right now. Today was a better start to the day and he was happy at the end of the day, he'd had a good day. Enjoy Teddy being 3! xx

  3. Hi,

    As a teacher, I understand your feelings, it is for us too so frustrating to feel that we do not meet the needs of every child in our class....However, I believe that some schools do.

    Sol will fits perfectly in a Montessori setting where each child is taught individually. Maria Montessori said: “The child's development follows a path of successive stages of independence, and our knowledge of this must guide us in our behaviour towards him. We have to help the child to act, will and think for himself. This is the art of serving the spirit, an art which can be practised to perfection only when working among children.” (The Absorbent Mind, p. 257)".

    Visiting any Montessori school is quite an experience. It is definitely worth it.

    I am now working in a Montessori School now and see children everyday who grow independently, who develop their very own interest. What strikes me the most is that they are never stopped in the their learning. They are free spirit guided in a stimulating environment. They are children who believed in cooperation, who believe in inclusion and peace. They are children who believe in nature and science.

    I am sure you will enjoy reading about Montessori and her great belief in children's ability. With a lot a reading, it is possible to apply the Montessori theory at home! (

    Here is a very interesting blog from a mum:

    Lauren (The brioche girl!)

    1. Oh Lauren! Thankyou for taking the time to leave your beautiful comment. I am in fact familiar with Montessori education. We live out of Melbourne so our choices are a bit limited, I am overall very happy with our sons school. It is just an emotional time transitioning! I so appreciate you continuing to read my blog and for your comment. Thanks for staying in touch. xx ps we are heading to the desert this year maybe we'll see you there! x

  4. Oh, Nikki. Thank you for being so vulnerable with us. It is not an easy thing when our child is not doing as well as we had hoped. I so relate to what you are saying. My mum always said that we can only relax as mothers when we know that our children are ok.

    It is what prompted me to explore alternative forms of education - when I put Annie in a mainstream kindergarten here. I just knew that it was not right for her. A mother's instinct is strong and we should always trust it. I pulled her out pretty quickly and discovered Montessori, which I am now a complete supporter of. So much so, that I won't live anywhere that does not have a Montessori school for my children to attend.

    You know what is right for your child. Give him some time and space to voice what he would like, while you explore what will be the best fit for him. Perhaps he just needs more time to settle, perhaps he will do better with homeschooling or perhaps there are other options you have not considered yet.

    Whatever happens, know that this journey is for a reason and that he will find his way in the world.

    Sending you lots of love, beautiful friend.


    1. Thankyou Olga for your heartfelt message. I agree that we mothers know our children best and must trust our instinct. Slowly, slowly Sol is gaining confidence in being at school, his teacher is very supportive and we are both feeling a lot better. I know that can all change in a flash! But for now I feel like we are on a good path. Thankyou again xx


Thanks for your comments. I read every one!

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