He had to be peeled off me, sobbing, shouting he wanted to go home. I had to walk away and leave him with TOTAL STRANGERS. I couldn’t look back or the sight of his tear streaked face would have made me grab him and run away.
I knew one of the two women in the room was Mrs H – his soon to be class teacher, and one was an as yet unnamed teaching assistant – but I didn’t know which was which.
I couldn’t even find my way from the classroom, through the maze of corridors and to the outside without help.
Then I stood in the rain thinking how alien this felt. To leave my baby crying in the arms of people I couldn’t even name, in a room I would struggle to get back to unaided.
But you know. He is my third. I have been here before and I know both he and I will survive, so I wandered through the drizzle to a nearby coffee shop where I watched the clock stutter slowly through the 90 minutes before I could go back to him.
In all honesty there seems to have been a lack of the personal touch this time around. With my older two the class teacher made a home visit before ‘settling in’ day. I thought this was to make the kids feel more comfortable, but I see today that it was equally to make me feel more comfortable too. To avoid the feeling of leaving your precious cargo in unknown hands.
I know I left him in the hands of qualified and no doubt lovely teachers, I knew he was safe, but it still felt totally bizarre to just be expected to trust them with barely a word passed between us.
My mood, as I sat waiting with my hot drink, was a little self indulgently miserable in all honestly, not helped by the replacement of yesterday’s heat wave with wind whipped drizzle and dark skies.
After several years the hour and a half was up and I wandered back to join the other anxious parents waiting for their small faces to reappear.
Then there he was, clutching a rabbit head fashioned from a paper plate and a little rectangle of paper with his teachers photo and their names and a message about how they looked forward to seeing him in September. And most importantly a big grin on his face. He was happy. He had fun. He liked it. He chattered away about who he played with and what they did.
Phew. It is all going to be just fine!
Love Miss Cisco XXX