Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fly, Little Chickie.

Ivy has been counting down the sleeps until school starts for the last fortnight.

We've been freezing lunches.

Constructing charts for morning routines.

And I have been trying to not pay too much attention to the little knot of panic that seems to have taken up residence somewhere between my chest and my throat.

These last few weeks, we’ve been living the final moments of the intimate bubble in which I've spent the last five years. A private little domestic world of babies and breastfeeding, toddlers and tantrums and toilet-training. Of wearing a track between the stove and the washing machine. Long days of baby illnesses and endless nights of broken sleep. My time spent almost entirely within these walls. This warm and wonderful and infuriating and precious place.

This nest.

Sweet firstborn Ivy is our first chick to flee. For five years, this little girl of mine has been my whole world. I have cooked for her, washed her clothes, nursed her flu’s and soothed her worries. All, I realise now, somehow preparing her for this next chapter. The part where she trots off into the yonder without me. Those beautiful little arms and legs that I have cuddled too many times to count have somehow, sneakily, grown so big that this morning they marched my little one into school. Marched her into kindy without a backwards glance at her teary, trembly mama, who stood clutching the next-biggest child just a little too tightly. All day I have been feeling ever-so-slightly sick.

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire, said Yeats. I love this. I’m so happy for Ivy to enter a learning environment, to light that fire, to start forging her own path. I am. I feel proud of this kind, funny, interesting and clever daughter of mine and I can't wait to see what kind of mark she will make upon the world. But within me is a battle. I long to send Ivy forth to fight (and win! please, god) her battles, and at the same time I long to wrap her in my arms, pack her in my handbag and shield her from all the pain that life, and the schoolyard, can bring.

I guess the wrapping and the packing and the shielding will have to happen, from now on, outside the hours of nine and three, except for the love that I can somehow squirrel to Ivy through the medium of her lunchbox.

One down.


  1. Aaahhh cry you make me!!!! Exactly how I feel. Am making sure there is time from 3.45-4.45 each day to just 'be' with matilda...to listen, read, learn, play and get my dose of snuggling those arms and legs that i've missed all day! love your words...thanks for sharing! xxoo

  2. Oh wow that post literally made me cry! Am sitting on my couch, eating my weight in cheese and onion chips (don't ask) and feeling utterly torn about my own baby's first day of kindy tomorrow. Oh the sweet, bitter joy of being a mama. Thanks for describing this feeling so perfectly.


  3. What a lovely post. From what I see on your blog, I'm sure that five years of being nurtured in the loving and eccentric Mogantosh nest will have equipped Ivy to make the best of all education and the world has to offer. Bx

  4. NOW I am crying- esp looking at the picture of me with Busy looking so little!!!

    tomorrow is day 1 for us. nervous.

    I feel like she is leaving the safety of small care, she was in family day care followed by a day care centre with about 18 children. now a school of a couple of hundred.

    I am ready for her to start as I know she will love it, but my heart is breaking at the thought. the baby is really gone.

  5. Oh, I wish I could tell you it gets easier...

    Beautiful post, Rachael.

  6. I just read this out loud to Daniel because it is so wonderfully written and I had to stop half-way through because of my tears. Next year it will be me being dragged out of the playground because i'm crying too much.

    Thinking of you x

  7. There's a reason you're always one of my best ever blogs.

    Heartfelt, authentic, funny.

    You wonderful wordsmith.

    Well done beautiful mama, you've prepared Ivy well for what lies ahead. Hope she has a super wonderful first week.

    Sending you love, xxx

  8. So beautifully written, your words and thoughts expressed so perfectly. What a precious time that pre five time is, and how much love and care is given and received. Good luck with your little one starting school, a whole new world will open up but nothing can ever replace a mother's love xo

  9. It is such an exciting, yet bitter sweet time. Good luck Ivy!

  10. You are without a doubt, one of the best writers, ever (did you get Chris's email?). This post made me cry, just a little. Go forth Ivy – hope you love your first year of school little one!



Thanks for talking to me. I don't got cooties. Oh, except for when I got cooties.