|Three little girls, all exactly the same, but a little bit different.|
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Last week was the first school orientation morning. The day all of the preps starting school next year come in for the morning. They do a walk to the drinking taps and the toilets and meet some teachers. The teachers ask them to write their names and draw a picture before they sit on the mat to listen to a story and sing some songs.
And the Mums, the mums are breathing deeply in the staff room, or crying in the car, or chasing another toddler on the nearby playground. And the question sometimes asked is, “How are you coping?” and the mums all say the same thing.
“I will be ok.”
Because they will.
But that little bit of me that is not ok is the part that knows how Immy will miss the strong friendship she has with one of her kinder friends. Anna and Immy adore each other’s company. Together with Sharnie, they are the ‘creche kids’ that have been together for full days of care for over three years. They have seen other kids come and go, they watch as the ‘pre-school’ kids all get picked up early and together these three keep playing, often last to leave, they know the drill of ‘late snack’ and how the playground gets packed up at 5.30pm. They get excited when the babies start to walk and they know all the parents that come in and out of every room to collect their kids. These three are the queen bees of their own little existence.
Together they have mastered the monkey bars, saved the lives of snails and hidden in the bushes to hide from kids they don’t like. They know the best place to look through the fence to see the fire trucks go past. They have dribbled on the books and kicked over the blocks. And now that they have mastered the art of how to open a lunch box, apply your own sunscreen and write your own name, it is off to school.
Which means their time is limited.
School will separate them. Anna will attend another school.
Anna was not there at school orientation.
Still, when asked to draw a picture of something, Immy drew a picture of the three of them. These three little girls from totally different ethnic and cultural groups yet still so very much the same. This basic drawing says so much. I know exactly which image is which girl. I know they are all in the same dresses because as different as they all are, they still try so hard to be exactly like each other.
We will still see Anna for a play when all the schedules align, but as grown ups, we all know, it's just never the same.
So when I think about Immy being ready for next year, I don’t even really think about school, I know that part now, I know she will find her bag hook and work out the rules of the bigger playground. I know she will hate the restriction of less free play and more structured learning yet love the songs, the stories, the canteen and the excursions.
But I know most of all she will miss Anna.
And we all know, there are no brakes once you get started on that soaped up slip n slide of life.