This post I wrote back in September. Feels like a lifetime ago, and makes me realise how fast the kids ‘mature’….
Today was the first day back at school. My most passionate and complex child had already admitted he felt nervous about returning to school after the summer. He quickly became overwhelmed during the scrum at the school gates – none of his friends were visible and his ‘nervousness’ quickly turned to angry frustration about his inability to carry 3 bags at once. In turn I became overwhelmed and frustrated, impotently making empty threats to tell his teacher how silly he was being, showing him how well his classmates were managing (I know, I know….)
All in all, it stunk. I stunk at it, and handed him over to the TA to manage instead. I’m fully anticipating an angry boy at the end of the day. Invariably, I am the recipient of all his difficult, ugly and irrational feelings. And all I know is – I’ve got to have a plan….
Cause don’t we all want to be that parent who calmly walks up to the school gates, whose children merrily run out to greet them and tell them enthusiastically about their day? I know I do. But both my school age kids, at times, remind me that life is rarely so idyllic, that they are complex little people with emotional worlds of their own that frankly have no place in my idealised world. And today, I fully anticipate, it will be the passionate and complex one who makes this point loud and proud and in full view of all the other parents, who unlike me have got their shit together.
So, my plan for today is not to ask. Anything about their day. And to be prepared for the barrage. And breathe in, and out. And forget that I’m in full view of those around me who (obviously) never face such challenges from their perfect offspring. And remember, I am trying to raise good adults. Not perfect children. And that’s a long game. Not a short one. And it surely doesn’t begin or end at the school gates.