Right up to the line I was in two minds. Do we go or don’t we? We had been invited to a tea party yesterday at the little lady’s new school as part of the whole settling in, getting to know you process. We had been to one before, back in June just before the little man was born. A lovely evening for the parents to socialise and learn more about the school whilst the little ones played leaving us to scoff strawberries and cream and sip Prosecco, or in my case back then, Elderflower in the hot and sticky school hall. Today it was a tea party in the school gardens, a kind of prequel to their first day. I was anxious about going on my own with the two little ones and trying to find reasons not to go. In the end I reasoned with myself, strapped the children into the car and drove towards the school trying not to think too much about my anxiety. It would be worth it.
The little lady has talked about starting school ALL.SUMMER.LONG. To say she is excited would be an understatement. School, in her mind means she will be a big girl. That she will finally be like all her older cousins who go to school, and I of course have only wanted to encourage her excitement and enthusiasm. We’ve talked about wearing a uniform and having school meals, about going to the toilet by herself and sharing things, taking turns and using her manners and about all the fun she will have making new friends. So to deprive her of this last opportunity to run around and meet other children before school officially begins would be wrong.
I know she is ready. I have known she is ready for months. She thrived at nursery, but I couldn’t help but worry over the last few weeks that she might have got a little too used to being at home and to being out of routine. To lie ins and late nights and whats worse, having her own way far too much. I wanted to check that she actually remembered what school was and what it looked like and that she was actually going to be ok with mummy leaving her every day for three days. The last time I tried to leave her for a couple of hours during her settling in afternoon was a bit of a disaster. She clung to me like a wet limpet refusing to let me leave. In the end I ended up squatting on the floor next to her which was no mean feat at 40 weeks pregnant. Eventually she let me go half way through. It could have been worse. Just.
But yesterday she surprised me. Yesterday she ventured into her classroom to play with the other children while the teacher talked to us mummies and daddies about the first day of school. She explored the garden, digging and getting muddy and wet with the other children. She played in the home corner and tried out the toilets for size and complained about having to leave when I said it was time to go. She had a truly fantastic time. If nothing, I am glad that we went just so that I could see her come alive at school with my very own eyes. I am sure there will be the odd difficult morning once she is less enamoured with it all, but hopefully they are few and far between and she will love being there as much as I think she will.
These first school days are special. A milestone of life and a reminder of time passing by. The last three years have flown and yes my little baby is all grown up but I think she’s ready and so am I..