She wore a white tee and a navy polka dot skirt on her first day of kindergarten. Her backpack looked so inappropriately large, which only made her look small. Too small. Like she should still be at home with me, clomping around in my shoes, asking to make ice blocks, asking to paint my nails. I was nervous that day, her signature shy smile masking my interpretation of if she was okay, or if she was not okay. I will never forget how she looked when it was time to say goodbye. She said, “Mum, all the parents are leaving now. It’s time to go”. She gave me a tight, graspy hug, walked me to the front door, flashed me a smile, waved, then ran back inside. I stood there a little jarred, so grateful for this tiny bundle of a thing to have grown into such a capable little girl, one who was SO FINE, but equally stunned that the baby I brought home from the hospital was gone. Really, truly gone.
Now, we’re signing our names alongside which plate of food we’re going to bring on the last day of kindy on Thursday, as if the year got sucked up by some giant vacuum cleaner and I never even noticed what was happening. It’s beginning, and I know it. Those slow, slow, slow, slow early baby years are now being replaced by the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it school years. Texts are flying back and forth to my kindy mum friends and all of us are medicating with gin because it’s all too much and the education system is actually trying to kill us. Don’t even get me started on the uniforms. I was the mother who started crying in the uniform shop today, because put any kid in a school uniform for the first time and show me one mother who doesn’t get a shock to see it. Oh you can’t find one? THAT’S BECAUSE SHE DOESN’T EXIST. It’s a cold, sobering shock, that’s what it is and I’m just going to have to find my inner Dalai Lama and embrace the now because right now, we’re making teacher gifts and washing school uniforms and picking up school packs from the newsagency, so help me god.
Which brings us to today’s post — A super easy to make teacher gift: Beeswax Candles.
You can pick up beeswax candle kits from a lot of places. We got ours on eBay. All that’s involved is cutting the wick to fit, placing it on the edge of a beeswax sheet, tucking it into the sheet with a few firm folds and then letting the kids roll it up.
The littler ones might need a little more guidance rolling straight (that face!)
But it’s easily corrected if they don’t get it perfect.
Pretty it up with some plaid paper or ribbon and a bit of twine, and you’re done!
These are best paired with a bottle of wine, probably two, because teachers are angels who spend all day every day with really small erratic people and at the very least, need a drink at night. (We love you, teachers!)
We saved a couple of candles for ourselves to burn on Christmas eve.
And now we’re off to Billy’s Christmas concert this afternoon, so excuse me while I leave to sob into my tissue. Why do they insist on making us watch a room full of tiny toddlers dressed all cute singing Away in a Manger? STOP MAKING US CRY ALREADY.
More Christmas cheer to come…