On Sunday I cleaned Grace's room to a degree of unusual orderliness and quizzed her on all manner of things - could she open her lunch box? what would she do if she wanted to go to the toilet and it wasn't playtime or lunchtime? how would she be brave of the noisy thing (aka the hand dryer, a major issue for a year or so)? what did she want for lunch? We even went shopping together and bought a lunch bag and some little freezer packs. Everything was laid on the table and labelled with a laundry marker or sharpie pen. We were ready as we were going to be. And Grace was super excited. I set my alarm. Just in case. But Grace and Gerard were up at 6.30 am anyway, ready to get ready. I had thought we were going to be really stupidly early, but we were just in time. The school crossing supervisor took extra care to explain the rules as each group of preps crossed the road and some of the grade six girls stood inside the fence exclaiming how cute the preps were. Grace walked along the last bit of the path to school holding hands with some of her friends. Her buddy pounced on her and gave her a big hug. Amongst the melee of parents and cameras, I got one serious "for nana" shot. The rest was pretty much a blur.
for a moment I thought Grace would lose it. She stayed close and sat on my knee with her arms around my neck for a moment but then happily went off to play with the toy cars and loop de loop track. They're not silly, these prep teachers - lots of interesting playthings already set up. I felt all teary, well actually I did get a bit wet around the eyes, but I wasn't the only one. Lucky I had a champagne brunch with some other mums and dads (G went home to work on the shed extension) to go to. It was a good debrief and then I had some pamphlets for a community event to deliver and before I knew it, there were only two hours left until pick up time. Even so, I wanted to be a fly on the wall all day. To see how they were going, to know that she was OK. Apparently one of the last parents to leave peeked in the window and saw the kids sitting on the mat, happily listening to a story.
When I arrived to pick Grace up, everyone was happy and excited. It had been a good day. Not that I could find out any details because if I asked Grace about her day at school, she said it was good and that she learned to use the noisy thing. So we went through the orange state government show bag they were all issued and checked out the propaganda while eating trashy fruit juice icy poles. A little while later she fell asleep on the couch in her fairy dress and woke up all rumpled and ready to give it another go tomorrow.