The Last Day

Today was Lile and Sábha's last day of preschool. It seems like only yesterday we were celebrating their very first day. We had a little party and smiled and laughed even though I was in floods of tears, for a lot of the day, after watching my babies take their first steps towards independence. That was almost two years ago. 
September 2013
There were more tears today. Mine again, of course, as the reality hit that we would no longer be following the winding path, past the spiral maze, up to the little wooden cabin where they spent their mornings for so long.

And, as with everything there is to do with children, there were mixed emotions. We are all very sad to be leaving the gorgeous, protective bubble of love, respect and nurturing that was the Naíonra but we are excited too, to be moving on to the next stage. Lile and Sábha are more than ready to go to school and I know that the beginning they got with the Naíonra team will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives.
Mixed Emotions. June 2015.
I don't think Lile and Sábha fully understand that it's an ending. Or that it's likely we'll rarely see all of the people who are, right now so dear to them, very often again. Some we won't see at all. They've left and come back so many times, you see. The two week breaks at Christmas or Easter are as long as forever to people who have only the most tenuous grasp of how time works. Going back after the two month break of last Summer was almost like beginning again for the first time. I know they'll still be asking me every morning for the next few weeks if it's 'a naíonra day today'... but there are no more naíonra days...
The team who looked after my girls so amazingly everyday gave us a gift of a scrapbook keepsake for each of the girls. It is filled with photographs, artwork, observations and snippets of conversations the girls had during their time with them. The books are big and heavy and must have taken hours and hours to compile. They made one for each of the children who were moving on to 'big school'. Looking at them makes me swoon with nostalgia. Thinking about how much care was put into making them makes my heart get tight. Thinking about how these books are only a snapshot of the huge amount of love and care Tonya, Emma, Ger and Claire have shown my girls makes me weep.

I am so grateful to each and every staff member in the Naíonra but especially to those four.

After naíonra today a few of the parents and children gathered in the park. We gathered to prolong our connection to each other. To stave off the inevitable fracture of a routine we've all held dear. To watch our carefree, little ones play together for just a moment longer before they scatter to the wind, and to different schools and into unknown futures.

Come September, everything will be different. There will be uniforms and school books, new friends to be made and new routines to establish. It will be exciting and daunting in equal measure and ultimately it will be fine. 

But, I know in my heart it'll never match the precious days of preschool.

6 comments

  1. Aw emotional day! They will love school, and their time in pre-school will stand to them and give them a great start. Onwards and upwards!

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    1. VERY emotional day! But I know they really will be fine. Onwards and upwards indeed!

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  2. Beautiful post. My baby will be finishing next year. School is a big step but will be another great adventure. :)

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    1. Thanjs Laura. Well, we do like adventures 😀

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  3. Beautiful post, beautiful girls
    Nicola

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