"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."
Melody: First week of being a first grader! Hat got lost (and, found again) on the first day, shoes are already scruffed and, well, it's business as usual for this kiddo. Like a fish to water.
Maddison: "I want crackers". Me: "You are crackers, kiddo."
This week has been intense. Emotional. Challenging.
I didn't expect the intensity, not the fullness of it, but given what we went through last year, reaching the milestones of Year 11 for Ella, first-grade for Melli and pre-school for little Bug-a-lugs, it's no wonder it was a big week. Each milestone on its own is huge - multiply it by three and you have gigantic emotional rollercoaster ride for this mum.
This week I had a dream I had changed Melli's school. It was, plain and simple, an anxiety dream. There was an incident on the second day back where I questioned whether my girl was in the right place. It wasn't a massively big incident, but it obviously highlighted how vulnerable I really felt at the "letting go" school demands.
I'd been looking forward to the routine, the normalcy, that school would bring... Instead, I drove home worrying about her. At the end of the day she was fine - all grins and chatterboxy as usual. I asked her if she was okay about what happened in the schoolyard that morning and she said, breezily, "Oh, I'm over that now," and off she skipped.
What got me through this week were the kind, wise and caring women I have met in the past 12months at the school-gate - the other mums. I've met some amazing women at this school; women who are truly good, good people with good souls. In the worst days of last year, when it was touch and go with my eldest and I was raw from the enormity of it all, some of those women stepped up for our family in unexpected and generous ways.
I was reminded of that generosity and warmth again this week. It was lovely to be welcomed back into that community again after the summer break; lovely to have people come up and hug you and genuinely ask how have you been. It's good to feel like we belong to a community that looks out for each other.
So, here I am , late on a Sunday night, girls are asleep and I am finally able to blog and post my weekly portraits. Lunches are made for tomorrow, uniforms washed and bags ready by the door. With writing deadlines looming, the routine that I craved is back and I'm thinking the week ahead is going to be smoother sailing (fingers crossed!). Hope it is for you, too.
Joining the "52" project via Che and Fidel
Click here to see all my "52" portraits to date.