Every parent knows that sending your child off to school for the first time is a moment of seriously mixed emotions – and Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey is no different. Today, he writes for Mamamia about letting go of your little on on his first day of school…
Speaking on the Today show recently, for a brief moment I reflected on my son’s first day at school in between the same old political questions.
Karl Stefanovic didn’t miss his opportunity.
“First day at school?” the Today show host asked on behalf of his huge audience. “Did you cry?”
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I grew up with my mum telling everyone that the happiest day she had for years was when she offloaded me, the youngest of four, onto the teachers at the local primary school. So there I was, 44 years later, thinking that my wife and I would be celebrating “freedom day” as our youngest passed through the school gates for the first time.
But, like so much about modern parenting, I learned another lesson when it came time to drop little Iggy off at school on his first day.
With his blonde curly hair and blue eyes he is indifferent to dad, Iggy is mummy’s precious baby — and he knows it.
For at least a week before his first day at school we couldn’t get him out of his school uniform. He was so excited about his first day that he would practice carrying his school bag around the house.
His mum just found it harder and harder to let go of her youngest charge. As the first day of school approached, mother and son spent every minute together at the shops, around the house, at the zoo and even doing city loops on the open roof tourist bus around downtown Sydney.
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So, despite a scheduled meeting with my boss, I knew I had to be there for the first day of their new lives apart.
As the mums gathered at the local coffee shop before the scheduled late start on day one, I sensed that my wife was not alone with the struggle. The nervous chatter and regular glances at the first day children playing together in the courtyard, underscored how out of touch I was with a mother’s emotions on the day.