Mikaela started class one this morning.
We dropped Mikaela off and then waited - with all the other parents - just outside the playground. Once all the children had arrived, their kindy teacher, Jacqui, gathered them together for a few final words and gave each child a rose.
She then led them out in a line of pairs, each child holding another's hand, to walk down to their new classroom (with parents following at - supposedly - a discreet distance). There, their new teacher, Michael, who will have them for the next seven years, greeted them at the door. They each handed him a rose, shook his hand, and went into the class room.
Their new class is made up of the children from two of the four kindergartens, so behind Mikaela's class came the other class. When all children were inside and seated, the kindergarten teachers went in. Jacqui was carrying a candle, which I believe she placed in a candle holder in the room, and Michael placed all the roses in a vase.
And so their day began, and we went down to the canteen for "parent cafe", to chat with the other parents and debrief a little.
Mikaela was truly excited to start class one - to return to school and her friends, to learn to read and write, and to be part of the "proper school" as she put it this morning. The kindergartens are separate to the primary school with their own enclosed playgrounds (one to each pair of kindergartens), and include the preschool children as well.
Watching Mikaela move into class one was not a teary moment for me particularly. She is ready to move up, and besides, she's not my baby. I still have another to go through.
But, saying goodbye to Jacqui myself, when I dropped Mikaela off at the kindergarten, did bring some tears to my eyes. Mikaela has spent the last two years in that delightful space, with a warm and wonderful teacher and her equally lovely assistant, Katrina. And, two years earlier, Liam had the same teachers. Both times I acted as class coordinator for the two years, and really I enjoyed the role.
It seems silly when I say it, but I think I will miss Mikaela's kindergarten teacher more than she will! In two years time Eliane will start in that same room, also with Jacqui, and we will have another two years of visiting there. But in four years, when Eliane moves up to class one? I think I will be having a really good cry.
This is Mikaela two years ago on the first day of preschool. Eliane wears that hat now.