It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Another passage

So, when I return to work from my two weeks off in August, Grace and Jazz will have gone on to kindergarten. I am often asked if that bother me, the departure of a child. Surely I get attached. Are there tears and heart-wrenching goodbyes?

Will I be sad when they leave?

It’s true, I get attached. Of course I do. I couldn’t do the job well without that! Still, I enter into this knowing my tenure with them is of a specific duration. Only once in a while do I get so very attached to a child I’d happily adopt them. Even then, so long as I’m confident they have a loving parents, I can relax in the knowledge that the child will be happy and thriving without me, and I can wave goodbye with nary a tear. A small lump in my throat, perhaps, but no more.

I never have been one for riotous displays of emotion. Not that I don’t feel things deeply, but I’m not much of a weep-er and a wail-er.

Yes, there are changes afoot, but over the years I’ve noticed I have a minority attitude to change. I don’t resist change on principle, as so many seem to do, mindlessly. “If it’s new, it’s bad!” is the mantra. I’ve never felt that way. I don’t just endure change because I must, I actively enjoy it. When I have to let go of one thing to make room for a new, the appeal of the new thing is enough of a positive that the letting-go is (virtually always) done without overwhelming anxiety/regret/pain. Change is refreshing, energizing, exciting.

(Do I like change for change’s sake? Do I think all change is good? No. I’m quite content to let things chug along in established and traditional ways, so long as they’re functioning well. But when change is inevitable, or necessary, I can and generally do embrace it. With enthusiasm.)

Add to that, that I’m an optimist. I see the positive in pretty nearly every situation.

So this situation, where two long-term children are off to new things?

Yes, they will be gone. Yes, I’ll have days without Jazz’s effervescence and Grace’s kindliness. I won’t see them learn to read and write; I won’t be there when they master the ‘pedal bikes’ they’re working on these days.

But! I’m happy that they have new experiences awaiting them at their respective new schools, each well-suited to the child in question. I’m happy that they have received some solid social grounding here. I can see their strengths: Jazz will dive into the social, and probably be a leader in three weeks. (And I will hope her teachers can manage her queen bee/diva tendencies.) Grace will please her teachers enormously with her conscientious approach to tasks and her intelligence. (And I will hope they’re not too exasperated by her spacey-ness, her tendency to be a beat or two behind a group.)

In the meantime, I’m quite unapologetically happy to be sending the four-year-olds off to school. Because they’re four. They are Rules People. Will I miss the contentious, pointless, reflexive competition and the tattling? Not for a second! Oh, to be free of it!!! … For a year or so, that is, until Poppy turns four.

I am curious to see how Poppy will develop, now that she’ll be The Biggest Kid at Mary’s. I foresee lots of kindly mothering of Rosie … who will put up with it for maybe another three months before the burgeoning two-year-old in her will resist and rebuff such attempts at Control and Dominance. (Because that’s how she’ll see it, I bet, when she gets to be a full-fledged Two.)

I am eager to take on Daniel’s little sister, and to see Daniel for more than the occasional visit he’s had this summer, the final two months of his mum’s maternity leave.

So, I bid the two big girls a fond good-bye, and look forward to a new dynamic in the fall. A fresh start, it feels like. A fresh start … of the same, happy, comfortable thing.

I’d call that a win-win.

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August 1, 2013 - Posted by | daycare, Grace, Jazz, socializing | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I have kids until 5 (Kindergarten here) and while I usually LOVE the kids in my care, by 5, I am so ready for them to GO. The last six months of their tenure here seems interminable :O I chalk it up to the fact that they are ready to move on to bigger things. So while their parents shed a tear over the fact their baby is growing up and going to school (and sometimes seem to expect me to feel/behave the same way) I just smile and nod and send them on their way. And as soon as the door is shut I have that celebratory glass of wine 😀

    Yes. This. Exactly! The last sentence made me laugh out loud.

    Comment by Kate | August 1, 2013 | Reply


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