Mother duck said ‘Quack, quack, quack, quack.’ But none of the five little ducks came back

Maeve has waited her whole life for this day. Today she started school.

Last night she set out her things. A new bag, new knickers, new socks, new shoes, a new hair clip and a hand-me-down dress (that has seen a few years of school already, and quite a few kinder sessions last year too once Maeve realised Elsie had upsized and it could be hers).

She went to bed and I saw that she’d set it all out on the couch.


And I nearly cried, wondering what it was going to be like without her at my feet. In each room. At the clothes line. On our bikes. Just a little shadow singing songs, choosing music for us on my phone and talking from 6.30 in the morning until 7.30 at night, when we suggest gently that that’ll do now; it’s time to go to sleep.

When I went to bed, I kissed the girls’ faces and whispered good wishes as they begin another adventure. And I almost cried again.

But today, there were no tears. Maeve was excited. Elsie a little bit scared and a little bit excited.

Blackie: ‘Tho who’th going to thwow thith ball from now on?’

We were ready early (yes, you read correctly). I got up at 6.30 and got on the treadmill (yes, you read that correctly as well). Maeve came in at 6.40, fully dressed, patting the front of her dress and asking if she could make her lunch so that she could finish packing her bag (which on the first day only contains a lunchbox and drinker). I puffed and panted without falling off that there were bread rolls in the bottom drawer of the freezer, but she said she wanted cruskits with vegemite.

‘Okay,’ I said, holding the treadmill handles.

When I got off the treadmill, she had the cruskits buttered and covered evenly (that’s my girl – remember this blog post about the importance of even spread?), and was putting them in a container.

Is she going to need me for anything anymore?

These are exciting times, prep for Maeve, grade three for Elsie and a novel waiting to be written by me.

I wasn’t sad when I left the school this morning. It’s like losing a tooth when you’re a kid. It’s not really happy or sad, it’s just feels weird.

It’s a nest ready to host other projects and the little ones who’ve left it (for a few hours each day) are ready to take on new things. Win win, I say.

I’ve enjoyed seeing the photos on Facebook of everyone’s kids starting their new adventure. I like their bravery, when they don’t even realise it. I wish them well.

How did the first day of school go in your house?

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