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
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?