Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Where did that baby go?

Today is Climber's last day of his first year at school. He's no longer a little Prep kid.

Next year he will be in Grade 1K. For the second year running, he will have a male teacher - our school appears to have more than its fair share of male teachers. It's great for the Climber's grade, anyway, because the boys outnumber the girls 2 to 1. I like the mix of kids he has in his new class (those that I know). They've shuffled the existing 3 prep classes into different groupings. His latest girlfriend, Angelina, is in his class - cuddle? My biggest beef is that a large proportion of the parents I got really friendly with will no longer be in my class. It's not fair.

I think a little year in review is in order.

When Climber started school I cried. Like a great big sook. Look at me.

Not only was Fixit comforting me as I tried to hold back tears but so did another parent, our new teacher and the School Principal.

Although Climber is one of the youngest in the class, he was ready for school. He's a nice kid, sociable, articulate, mature, and I cried not because I feared for him (though of course I did a bit) but because I had to let him go. He's my baby, my first-born, and sending him off to let others shape him was hard on that first day. And then, not hard after that, because he goes to a lovely school, he had a fantastic teacher, and like I said, he was ready.

This is us arriving at the school on the first morning.

This is Climber with Tim in the class on the first day. Totally at home, ready to settle in.

We'd sent Tim a letter in the holidays.

When we arrived in the classroom, it was displayed on the whiteboard and Tim read it out to the class and Climber felt so proud.

When I picked him up at home-time, he ran straight to the monkey bars.

I asked how his first day went. Well I didn't learn to read, he said. But I did lose my drink-bottle.

However, in the course of this year, he did learn to read. Which is just the best thing. Fixit and I got so much enjoyment from watching him progress through the levels. At first he found it hard work. He has perfectionist tendencies, so if he fears he'll get it wrong he's hesitant to try. But Tim saw this and guided him through it. And suddenly one day the penny dropped and instead of labouring through each word, he was reading! What an amazing, beautiful process it was.

And he learned so much else of course. Turns out he's very good at maths. And he maintained his passion for art. Sometimes he just talks a bit of Italian at home, just 'cos he likes it. He made friends, we had play-dates, he learned new tricks on the monkey-bars. He went in a concert which made this stage mother just about want to burst with pride. There was Pyjama day. He lost his first tooth.

We had a great year.

And now here he is at the end of his first year of school.

With Tim at the end-of-year party in the park...

... where we gave Tim another letter.

Of course he played on the monkey bars on his last day, with some of his friends.

And if you could see me as I write this you would see I'm crying again!! You've come a long way, baby.


  1. I'm so glad your boy's first year of school was such a success. I'm sure I'm going to cry when mine starts in a few years, too. It's kind of scary just thinking about it!

    As for the baby picture then little boy pictures -- wow! Remarkable how quickly they grow up! He's gorgeous!

  2. When my baby started school I cried like a TOTAL GIRL.

  3. What a cute and adorable little guy!

  4. The bravest thing that you can ever do is let them go and be their own person. I am at the other end with a daughter about to begin her final year of school and talking about spending a year overseas after that. It's scary and it hurts, but I have to think that she became this wonderful, brave person under our guidance. If your son has flourished this year, then you did a great job for those years before he got to school. Congratulations to both of you!

  5. I'm crying too !!

    What a beautiful, beautiful ode, and such a beautiful, beautiful boy.
    You have such a right to be so proud, what a great kid.

    He looks the same when he was a baby - it's in the eyes :)

    And a great teacher ( and it's nice to see some males getting a gig ).

    Congratulations on a great year.
    And thanks for sharing the trip ! :)

  6. What a wonderful post. I so enjoyed reading about climber's first year (and seeing his baby photo). This reminds me to savour the moments as you really only get each stage with each kid just once.

    And sorry about my lapse in the comments of your previous post - I must have read your responses three or four times. My glasses may need updating! And Thicky George, Double Thicky is an absolute hoot. He's the one who wishes to manufacture the purest and finest green isn't he? I could go on and on.....

    But I'm off for a while so I'd like to wish you a wonderful Christmas with your boys and Mr Fixit. Thanks for all your wonderful comments and really supportive and helpful e-mails, I really appreciated them. Take care and I'll see you in 2007 :-)

  7. Really enjoyed this post Stomper.
    What a beautiful baby he is/was.
    I cried when my children started school too!
    When my 'baby' started, I went home & cried my heart out- she had been such a dear good little mate.
    We are still close though, so I guess I didnt lose her!
    Hope your Chistmas is Joyous, & see you next year!

  8. Hi Stomper,

    That was a lovely story, and I have tears in my eyes too.

    I remember my first day at school, my mother was crying and pushing the other mothers out of the way so she could see through the window in the classroom door.

    I didn't care, I just wanted to be at school!

    Amazingly enough, I was the third of her children to start school, so it obviously doesn't get any easier.

    I hope you, your Mr Fixit and your gorgeous kids have a great Christmas!

  9. That crying you did on his first day of school is going to be NOTHING compared with the tears I'll produce when Miss E goes to school next year!!!! I really, really hope it is as good an experience for her as it has been for your family :)

  10. That is the BEST first day of school photo I have ever seen!


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