a peek inside the fishbowl

09 Sep, 2023

Back to school for the youngest

Posted by andrea tomkins in: parenting

Sarah in the playground

I might be exaggerating but when we dropped the youngest off at kindergarten she cried every morning for months, possibly years. While the photos above may show otherwise, I don’t think we had a truly smooth drop-off until second grade. It broke my heart every day to leave behind a crying kid. Teachers assured me that she stopped as soon as I left but I always had a sneaking suspicion they were just saying that to make me feel better.

Well this kindergarten kid is all grown up now and she’s back to school this week, but this time as a masters student in the art history department at Queen’s. I suspect there were fewer tears than there were back in kindergarten. ;)

My friends’ Facebook feeds have been chock full of back-to-school photos and it’s all left me thinking about how far we’ve come here at Casa Fishbowl, and how strange it is to know someone from conception until adulthood and spot the patterns in their lives that add up to The Person They Have Become.

A small part of me is tempted to take some credit for her reaching this amazing post-secondary milestone. Is this weird of me to say out loud? We were the family who encouraged home art projects, bought memberships to the National Gallery and planned kid-friendly visits, and dropped by open houses of local artist studios and collectives. But we can’t truly take much credit at all – her success is truly her own. She studied for her exams and got good grades. She got the internships, jobs, scholarships and grants. She winged interviews because she’s smart that way. She put herself out there more times than I can count, and the universe rewarded her hard work and her courage. As parents, we may have given her a pair of oars, pointed the boat and given it a shove, but she’s the one who has been doing all the rowing.

Mark and I are so proud of how hard our kid has worked and how far she’s come. We are excited to see what’s in store for her.

1 Response to "Back to school for the youngest"

1 | Lorine Mejias

November 16th, 2023 at 5:49 pm


I am 47 year old mom Thank you so much!

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (24) and Sarah (22). During the day I work as a writer at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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