Dear School Mums, Dads and Teachers
OK; so it may just be the fact that I am sitting here listening to “O Holy Night” by Mariah, and it is making me feel all emotional, but I needed to get a few things down that I wanted to say to you all.
Today our son is finishing up his first year at Primary School. It has been a year of big changes for us all.
We have watched him lose his lovely, little baby cheeks, his hair has darkened up, his legs are suddenly looking long and lean, and he lost two of his baby teeth. He fell in, then out and then back in love with Rescue Bots. He learnt to read a little. He made many beautiful new friends.
I handed my incredible little man over to some (luckily) also incredible women to care for him during school hours. My heart broke, and I choked back tears of pride and loneliness as he shot me an uncertain half wave whilst marching off in line on his first day.
That was the first day I met many of you. Tears and tea upstairs for the new parents. We were all gripping tissues and reminding ourselves our babies were perfectly fine and this was exactly what they needed. The tricky thing was that we were still pretty fresh in Sydney ourselves, knew very few people and had no family around at all. I do my work at home and care for the kids, so the company of adults has been so incredibly precious to me.
Consequently, YOU became my people.
And now, in a few short days, we are leaving Coogee behind and returning back ‘home’ to Melbourne
Thank you for caring about my son.
Thank you for smiling at him during morning assembly. Thank you for helping him find his school bag in line if I was off wrangling with his sister. Thanks for sending me messages the morning we missed assembly and he got an award. Thanks for taking him down the steps when his sister was sick and confined to the stroller. Thanks for walking him to school when I was sick. Thanks for the offers to pick him up when I had simply had a rubbish day. Thanks for the play dates and the birthday parties. But most importantly, thank you for the beautiful memories your child has given to my son.
Thank you to the teachers that held his hand when he fell off the play equipment and cried. Thanks for not making me feel foolish when I was concerned about the fact that he was not the one eating his lunches. Thanks for truly seeing his little face amongst a sea of beautiful cherubs in your class room. Thanks for not overlooking him. Thanks for rewarding his good behaviour. Thanks for disciplining him when he was wrong. Thanks for listening to his ideas and pushing him just that little bit further. Thanks so much for your incredible patience and genuine love for kids.
To the tribe that I saw so often at the gates.
Thank you for caring about me, too.
Some days, you were the only real adults I would speak to apart from my husband. Thanks for pretending you didn’t see the chips poking out the top of my shopping bag. Thanks for supporting my work and ideas, making suggestions for blog topics and encouraging my writing. Thanks for welcoming any relative or friend that was visiting us and desperately excited to see my son at school pick up. Thanks for pretending it was perfectly normal the afternoon you simply said, “hello,” and I burst into tears as I felt sick and Pat was working late. Thanks for reminding me when I needed his school photo money in. Thanks for listening when I had a concern about my son that I was unsure how to handle. Thanks for telling me he was fine and it was highly possible I was over thinking it all. Thanks for trusting me to share your own struggles and hurdles with. Thanks for telling me I had put my son in the wrong uniform that day in the nicest possible way. Thanks for bringing me chicken broth when I had that revolting flu. Thanks for bringing me a bag of second hand clothes for my daughter. Thanks for those incredibly fun, unforgettable parent nights out. Thanks for inviting us to stay at your breathtaking holiday home. Thanks for those spontaneous plays at the beach. Thanks for including my daughter and giving her cuddles and Shopkins cards. Thanks for beeping your horn and waving wildly at us down Coogee Bay Road and making me feel like a true part of the community. Thanks for the long walks and talks. Thanks for ensuring those walks sometimes ended up in our bar whilst we rehydrated.
Thanks for allowing me to be a part of something special.
Sure, I will miss the beach, the warm sand, the excell chicken rolls and the buzz of Sydney, but it is the people I will be crying for as we roll out of town.
I was given this quote recently by a friend and it is perfect :
“You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.” – Miriam Adeney
How incredibly lucky am I?