Beck Vass is surprised by her 5-year-old's enthusiasm to be at school without his mother.
Some kids cry when their parents leave them but our middle child just did a happy dance because I was leaving him at school.
I am all for this newfound independence. I have never been one of those mums who need to be needed. I just didn't expect the lack of my presence to spark so much joy.
During many months of excitement counting down until he started school last week, our boy was asking daily how many days until he turned five.
"Ninety-nine days until I turn five," he proudly informed a stranger on the Rotorua gondola during a family holiday in October.
Once he turned five during the Chirstmas holidays, his question changed to how many days until he started school.
There was so much anticipation I had to hide his uniform because he wanted to wear it all the time, even demanding to sleep in it, and I was sick of arguing.
During the last week, the question changed from being at school, to me not being there with him.
"How many days until you take me to school … and go away?" he would ask. Or: "Is tomorrow the day you take me to school … and you leave?"
When he asked again the evening before the big event, I confirmed that, yes, I would be leaving him at school. He was so excited he had to clarify: "And are you staying with me?" "No," I said. He shrieked: "Yippee, woohoo!" and ran away with a fist pump.
I'm all for this, but do you have to be so excited about me not being there?
I don't know if anyone has ever been so excited to have me leave. Maybe my husband on occasion, I guess… I don't know. I started to think about it and then I started feeling even more depressed.
On the day of his start, we took our girl, 7, to her new classroom and met her teacher and then walked our new entrant to his class, which had been his sister's first classroom two years earlier.
He had spent quite a lot of time playing with the toys in this room, with the kids that were five back then when he was three. He knows it well and he knows the teacher.
He was playing with a big toy castle. I kneeled down and said: "Would you like us to stay with you until the bell or go?" He answered (a little quickly, I thought) barely looking away from the castle. "Go."
Okay then. Love you too!
Kids can be so brutal.