Monday, February 4, 2013

First day of school - what a difference a year makes!

The Big Fella went to school today without a backward look. He waved happily to us, and literally skipped into the classroom.

What a contrast to The Complicated One's first day of school, when he retired to bed in his school uniform just before we left the house, and literally had to be dragged crying into the classroom on days 1 and 2.

They're different cats, that's for sure. The Big Fella is sure of himself, and goes with the flow. He'll talk to anyone, and nothing much bothers him.

The Complicated One is less sure of himself, thinks of all the alternatives, worries about which is the right choice, and second guesses himself afterwards. He'll only talk to you if he likes you, and pretty much everything bothers him (I guess I'm exaggerating a bit!).

The Big Fella has a good friend from his child care centre starting kindy at the same time. They're not in the same class, but having a familiar face in the playground on day 1 must make a huge difference.

Plus he's been to the school every day for a year, dropping off or picking up his brother, so it's already a familiar place. Add a different personality, and you can see why The Big Fella is recipe for success.

We suspect it won't all be smooth sailing. He's amongst the youngest in his class. And writing and craft type activities don't yet appear to be his forte. He's more of a running around kicking a soccer ball kinda guy.

In a few weeks he may well decide school is boring, and declare he's had enough. He's done that sort of thing before.

But just as likely he'll find some way to make school fun and interesting, perhaps by focussing on activities outside the classroom.

Who knows what hidden talents school will reveal? It may be oral presentations (try shutting him up!). It may be acting (he's already a clown). It may even be numbers (he's certainly more interested in adding up that recognising letters).

Whatever happens, The Big Fella and The Complicated One will make an interesting pair as they travel through their school years together.

Sometimes I imagine it will be like the Reacher brothers from the Lee Child novels. Jack, the novels' hero, is the younger but physically bigger and tougher brother of the more thoughtful Joe.

Jack used to beat up the kids who gave Joe trouble in school. Jack says "... we had different brains. Deep down, he was a cerebral guy. Kind of pure. Naive, even. He never thought dirty. Everything was a game of chess with him.”

Not that The Big Fella has ever swung a punch. He's not yet even 5 years old - and quite gentle, for a big unit. But maybe he'll be looking out for his big brother, and vice versa.

Let's hope he's as cool and relaxed on the last day of school, as his first.

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