For 3 years and 6 days, Jem and I were inseparable. She goes where I go. I go where she goes. When it was time to find a school for her, admittedly, it was nerve-wracking. More than the question if Jem was ready for school, I have this nagging question at the back of my head, “Am I ready to do this? Am I ready to start letting go?” With enough courage and self-motivation, Jem was enrolled to a nursery class of 11 kids in just a span of 2 hours of inquiring at a school where we believe that can help with her development. I was afraid to go home and think about it as I may decide to not just continue. It would be unfair to Jem if the only reason why she was not getting the early developmental education she deserve was because her Ante, as she fondly calls me, was having separation anxiety. So when it was time for Jem to go to school, I took long breathes, calmed my nerves and prayed so hard I wouldn’t also breakdown. The moment I saw panic in her eyes during the first week of school, I know that I have to be strong for both of us. She would be able to get that courage, assurance and trust from me. I have to show her that it was alright to feel change and that change is a good thing. We built routines like commuting going to school, singing inside the tricycle, walking to ease the tension, coming in 30 minutes before classes starts so she would feel at ease with the new environment. It paid off. I want to congratulate myself but I am even prouder of Jem. She may not totally get it now being that she’s only 3 years old, but I am hoping that the memories of overcoming the anxiety together will stay with her, that she would know I will always be there for her and would only want the best for her.
Kudos to all the parents who just braved the first 2 weeks of their children’s first try to go to school! Thank you to the teachers for the help making the transition fun and easy for the kids! It was an emotional rollercoaster, but was definitely a good ride. And I know this is just the beginning of the many loops and turns as Jem continued with her education.