Dear Lily Bug,
Last night, just before you fell asleep, you began to cry. I reached out to hold your hand, and asked what was wrong. You told me you didn't want to turn five. You didn't want to stop having Unicornie and Bolt to cuddle at night. I told you that turning five didn't mean giving up your bedtime buddies, and you stopped crying - but only long enough to take a breath and start afresh.
"What's up this time?" I asked.
"I'm afraid to be a big girl! I'm growing up too fast mum! I don't want to start school. I don't want to stop going to kindy. I love my kindy!" And again you erupted into sobs.
My heart broke for you, because I understood your fears - it's hard facing the unknown, and most of all it's hard that you have to step out of - and leave behind - your comfort zone in order to do so. I felt so sad that you carry these fears when you're still so very young. How difficult it must be to realise when you're only four and a half years old, that these are stages you'll be leaving behind as you grow!
I wanted to hug away your fears but I couldn't. I was pinned down by your little brother, who was clinging on to me in his own nearly-but-not-quite-asleep haze with a limpet-like ferocity. To leave his side at that moment would mean to set him into a melt down, and that wouldn't provide any consolation to anyone...
So I continued to reach across the gap between Guy Smiley's bed and yours, and hold your hand, and talk you through it. Reminding you that it's still a long time before you're five and so you have lots of time left to enjoy kindy (and it broke my heart to say that too, because it's not long at all, and I too would rather that things stay as they are now, than let you go!) and school will be exciting and fun... That too was a little white lie. I know you're going to expect school to be as awesome as the likes of kindy and Playcenter, and what a culture shock it's going to be when you discover you can't just play all day! But hopefully you'll enjoy the likes of math as much as you enjoy painting dinosaurs and rainbows ...
And even though positioning you in one spot long enough to practice writing your own name requires a titanium backbone and a wee bit of bribery at times, I'm sure the teacher's sharp voice will be more effective than mine... It's not that I don't have a sharp voice (which can probably be heard from four houses down when I used it) it's just fairly ineffectual most of the time. And that trick of using a serious but quiet voice doesn't work either, because neither of you can ever hear me over your own yowling.
Anyway, I digress.
The truth is, I don't want to let you go to school either. I don't. I try so hard not to think of next year because I want you and Guy Smiley to stay exactly at the stage you're at now. Not forever. Of course I want to see you grow into the beautiful young adults I know you'll become. But a dominant part of me can't help but wish these next six months could last for at least another year and a half. Unfortunately that's not going to happen. So I can only hope summer starts early this year, and we can make the most of your final months of being a pre-schooler, before February 4th shifts the tectonic plates of our comfort zones into a completely new formation.
PS: At least my one consolation is that once you start school,
we'llyou'll be one step closer to total world domination. Whoo hoo!