And just like that - my baby's first year of school is over.
Tomorrow is last day of the school year for Isla, and boy, does it have this mama feeling some kind of sentimental and reflective tonight!
Some of you may remember that we had a really rough start to the school year. It was her first time being with anyone but family, and the adjustment was super hard for my reserved kiddo.
I remember feeling so terribly guilty, compounded by well-intentioned comments from other moms about how they were so glad they kept their kids "home until they were ready" when I opened up about the adjustment. Guilt that as a dual-income family, school - childcare - wasn't something we had the option to "put off another year."
I was scared that she wasn't ready, I worried that I was doing her a disservice because she couldn't stay home with me. Fear that I wasn't as good of a mom as the one's who were able to stay home.
Fast forward to now: those tough weeks are a distant memory. I have watched my girl blossom - socially and intellectually, confidently approaching new situations. She has a full repertoire of circle time songs that she knows everything word and hand sign for. She can tell you all about how a butterfly emerges from a chrysalis. She has a classroom full of friends. She knows her shapes, colors, and numbers. She can speak far more French than her mama!
I will never shy away from talking about how hard the beginning was, because I know that the moms who opened up, who shared similar experiences, were the ones who got me through.
They gave me confidence that this would be so GOOD for my girl if we gave it a chance, they helped me reassure myself that my daughter would not only adjust, but benefit, from her new school environment. Now? She’s the one comforting the new kids in class, taking them under her wing, my little nurturer. She’s come full circle.
So, what made the biggest difference? Our amazing teachers. They were patient, kind, and loved her through it all. We looked at a lot of schools before we chose this one - and while it may not be the "fanciest" we toured, it had that feeling of community and genuine care for these sweet children from the start, and that is truly the most important thing to look for when choosing your child's home away from home. I have more gratitude than I can express to them for being a part of our "village."
If you're a parent (especially my fellow working parents) feeling nervous or guilty about starting a new school, about starting daycare, about beginning something new - I promise, its going to be okay. Better than okay. Your little person is going to show you exactly what they are capable of when given the chance to face a new challenge, a new experience: they’re going to blow you away and make your heart burst with pride.
As we get ready to start her summer camp at school, I feel so proud, and so confident in her ability to adjust and flourish in her new routine. Congratulations my Isla Rosie, this is only the beginning of all you will achieve.