That’s the best way to describe registration day at Ziya’s first school. She wasn’t there and will no doubt be perfectly fine on Monday. It was me. I was terrified. I have a PhD. I’m smart. I totally didn’t think about eight million obvious things about school, like the fact that I still had to label everything or the sense it makes to get a set of shorts and tops that we could use like a uniform or the obviousness of what registration means in terms of all the documents they told you to bring when you first signed up in May.
I arrive at the school, feeling all shnazz that Stone and I had all done Ziya’s school shopping, like the email from the school said, and had arrived on time. School supplies? Check. Labelled and boxed? Check. Then we go to registration. Naturally, I don’t have any documents I should have. Birth certificate? Immunization? Photos? Signed forms? Check? Umm. No.
I sat there wondering what I thought the whole point of registration really was and tracing my way back through my memory to the fact that I did know I needed this stuff, but had clearly forgotten in the midst of trying to get my finalized book proposal to a publisher and preparing for the start of the university term.
I’m a conscientious mom. I’ve been in contact with the school about giving Zi a pre-school tour and about her being vegetarian. I thought I had it in flow, but the realization hit that I’d now need to dedicate a proper section of my brain to Ziya and school, something that hadn’t occurred to me because she’s still only two.
Everyday, I have to make sure that she heads off with something for ‘show and tell’, I have to make sure that she comes home in shoes that are actually hers. I have to be more than good with her when I’m with her at nights and weekends, I have to also plan for her days and follow up on them after. It’s like I’m discovering a whole new world of parenting.
You think you feel like an adult when you have the baby and she is sprouting healthy and happy. You think that you’re developing greater maturity when over time you learn to balance partnership, parenthood, work and even a little time for self, but it’s another stage when they start school.
Mostly, my lesson for the moment is to be less preoccupied and to recognize that this learning curve requires more attention that I was used to for earlier stages of her life. Like everything else, it will come more naturally with time, but for now, I’m starting all new at this school thing too.
There are so many things to think about with each day that she moves out into the world. So many decisions and so much more to pay attention to. It’s me who feels like I’m growing up.
Parents who have been here before will shake their head that I’m only here now, but clearly Monday’s first day of school is the beginning of a lot of firsts for me too.