Yesterday was a big day in our little family. At just 3 years old our little girl was all dressed up in her big school dress and bow and ready for her very first day of school.
I had a few nervous tears while ironing her uniform the night before, but we both held it together on the day, and managed to not embarrass the socks off Pete with an overly emotional display of separation anxiety (from me of course). Madeleine was a little tentative to say goodbye, but overall was so strong and handled it all like a pro.
Plus also, we had a secret weapon to get us all through on day 1.
We we have a collection of books that we've been reading about starting school and making new friends to get Maddie as prepared as possible for the huge change coming her way. Out of all of the books that we've been reading though, my absolute favourite, that has without a doubt made this process a little less traumatic, is The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn.
This book is about a little Racoon named Chester who is nervous about starting school, but his mum has a secret that would make him feel confident while he was away from her.
Before going off to school, mummy racoon takes Chesters' hand, spread open his tiny fingers, and kissed Chester in the middle of his palm. Mrs Raccoon told Chester that whenever he felt lonely and needs a little loving from home, he can just press his hand to his cheek and feel the love from his mummy.
Maddie embraced the Kissing Hand instantly.
She has asked for her kissing hand both mornings at school. And then the sweetest part of this sweet moment of our morning is that after we each give her a Kissing Hand, she closes her fists up nice and tight and keeps them firmly shut. This morning she then went and sat down on the carpet to listen to the first story of the day, all the while keeping her hands firmly closed. We walked away from our little girl, with our hearts just bursting out of our chests.
Oh and she of course gave us both our kissing hands before we left too. We can't have Mummy and Daddy missing Maddie either, so now we each have our Kissing Hands for when we miss her and need a little warm love on our cheeks too.
We just couldn't be prouder of how Madeleine has handled her first few days of school. But oh goodness, she looks so tiny in her big uniform!! Time, please start slowing down a little bit...