Two weeks ago Andel, Zac and I spent the morning at his big school's Orientation Day. To say that we had mixed feelings and expectations is an understatement!
I took Zac to school with me while Andel took Sam to daycare, and I very quickly realised how different school-Zac could be, and how little about him I knew. I suddenly wasn't sure what he'd want to play with, or how he could react to being formally separated from us in a new place. Turns out I was right - and wrong - to worry.
When we got there, a little before the programme was due to start, Zac headed straight for the playground. He wasn't at all bothered by the fact that there were very few other kids around, or that he was the only one in the sandpit. He happily went about building his sandcastle and I breathed a (premature) sigh of relief.
Then Andel arrived for the official start, and we all had to head inside. And Zac was having none of it. We ended up dragging him into the school hall. Much to our horror, while the Head tried to organise all the new students, he screamed in protest, and hid under the coffee and snacks table.
But then they were asked to go to their classes. We decided I would go with Zac and try calm him down. As we walked, one small hand in my only slightly bigger hand, I got a quick case of the feels as I realised I was walking my child down to his classroom. As soon as we got there, the teacher invited all the children to listen to a story, and that was the end: Zac let go of my hand, planted himself on the mat, and I left.
Truthfully, we didn't leave it there. In between trying to arrange uniform and mingling with other new parents, Andel spent some time standing at the window spying on Zac (just checking that he was ok, of course). And later, when the kids were allowed outside for break, we spent some more time watching from a distance. We marveled together at the little independent boy we saw before us. And our hearts nearly burst with pride.
On the ride back, we were excited to get Zac's take on things, and were shooting questions at him - to no response. After a morning filled with adventure and excitement, he was fast asleep!