Firstly, apologies to LCM. I WILL get round to doing it, but since I got a proper job and can't blog all day I just don't have time.
Now on for the proper post.
Tomorrow Eve starts pre-school. After friends' tales of tears at the school gate and three months of daily tears, I have tried to handle it the right way. Eve came with me when we looked around schools. I went with her last week and she picked her school bag (Thomas the tank engine, an awful Chinese knock off bought for less than 50 of your princely Hong Kong dollars in a market). Lots of her little friends are a bit older and already go to school. She is really keen to go. She already knows her alphabet, can count to 20 and never more has a child needed to go to school.
Then why do I feel so awful??
I have been in a state of semi panic whenever the "S" word is mentioned. I have been asking her daily whether she wants me to take her or get the school bus, and each time her decision is resolutely in favour of the bus. I can't quite figure out why I feel so awful. Eve has been looked after by a nanny for most of the day since she was 3 months old. I clearly don't have an issue about letting someone else look after my child. So why do I feel like this?
I think it is because I am petrified about how much of what I love about her will get knocked out of her at school. She has a delightful imagination, which I adore, in seeing ideas and people and thoughts out of ordinary things. School will bring a harsh reality into her life that I think she is too young for. I also have a huge desire to protect her from any pain. Whenever a child is mean to her (or she is mean to another child) there is someone to remind her that she is loved. I think part of my fear of school is that from the age of 9 until 14 I was bullied horribly at school and I am petrified that she might have to go through this too.
I also had some teachers who marginalised me and made me feel stupid and inferior. They were, mercifully, a minority, but it still hurts to this day.
So, looking at it in the cold light of day, Eve starting school tomorrow has brought galloping back all the insecurities and hurt I associate with school. I just want to protect her from all of that. Of course I can no more protect her from that than I can from shit boyfriends or job rejections. It doesn't stop me wanting to try though.