My five-year-old boy finished at day care last week. In the blink of an eye he is going to prep next year.
Nixon started going part time to New Leaf day care when he was just a few months old. I remember handing him over with my heart breaking as I looked at him in his little blue terry towelling romper suit. With tears in my eyes, I hid behind my dark sunglasses and hightailed it to the car where I slumped inside and promptly burst into tears.
One of the teachers came and sat in the passenger’s seat and calmly promised me on the days he was there he would be loved and stimulated and nourished. He was. And I usually left him guilt free to head to work for half a day knowing he was with other kids and teachers who have invisible angel wings.
We are not meant to have favourite children but I love my three kids in very different ways. One takes my breath away with their sensitivity. One cracks me up and is my mate. And one melts my heart and always clings a little closer to mum’s skirt than the other two.
That last one is Nixon. He was only six months old when he started to wear big round glasses and we were often in and out of hospital when he was younger. So my love for him has always been protectively fierce. He is my fragile little soul and it makes leaving him all the harder.
So thank you to all our teachers who pick up our babes when we are not there. Thank you for all the hugs you give our innocents in place of their mum’s arms. Thank you for all the toilet training and craft sessions and singalongs. You are special people with special jobs. I wish you were paid more.
Thank you for not judging me when lunch consisted of a banana and a sandwich when others had organic tofu sushi. Thank you for kindly explaining I needed to come pick up my kid because I had unwittingly sent him to school with conjunctivitis/hand, foot and mouth/school sores.
My little boy is shy and obsessed with sharks and all underwater animals. He is that kid who will blend into the pack rather than be centre stage when it comes to what book the class should read or what song they should all sing. So can you imagine my happiness when I walked into his classroom one day when the entire room had been transformed into an underwater paradise.
Thanks Ms Steph. What a gift to those kids by expanding their minds, imagination and sense of wonder about our amazing world. But it was a gift to me as well. It made me love Ms Steph because she had done this for our little boy. And you know what? Ms Steph had her own child she was away from in order to look after mine.
To all teachers, have a wonderful Christmas and thank you for looking after our beautiful bubs.