Today, she had her last school day of the year, for the last time (for now).
Today we walked out of school, hand-in-hand, saying goodbye to each of the spaces she has spent the last 6 years: Kindy, Prep, Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3 and Grade 4. We waved goodbye to the office, the oval, the carpark, the new swimming facility she has never had a chance to use (we chose to miss carnival due to sensory overload), the plovers, bush curlews, teachers and friends.
Most of the angst was mine.
She, although showing a little sadness, was mostly excited that she hugged her friends and teachers, had cleaned out her locker and “set the collected rocks and sticks free”, and it seemed like a load had been lifted from her shoulders.
I’ve loved this place. And she has too. But the ‘load’ is not shared equally between us. For me, the care, compassion and nurturing given to her from the people in this place has always outweighed the challenges. But that is my experience not hers. My belief in quality schools being incredible places to grow little people has perhaps even blurred my vision. She has equally loved the people, but the weighting for her is different. And my job as both a teacher and a mother, is to give guidance in what is right for her; to see her experience, to see her health, to both control and let go of control, so she can be her best self.
So today as we wave goodbye (goodbye gate, goodbye road, goodbye intersection <she giggles>), we start a new journey of discovery, challenge, acceptance, reflection, change, choice, and learning; always learning.