On Your First Day At School

Jack,

Tomorrow is your first day at school!

Come tomorrow morning you will be another little face in a sea of anxious foundation-ers in oversized uniforms and I will be another mummy, waving you off and trying to hold in my sobs (at least until you've gone inside). Truth be told, I'm freaking out. But I'm trying not to let you see that and instead I keep reminding you about how awesome school is and how much fun you're going to have there.

The new routine will give the days of the week more meaning and you'll soon get to know about stressy Mondays and happy Fridays. You'll become familiar with the smells (floor polish, cabbage, wet coats, grass, coffee) and the sounds (ringing bells, shouting, hymns, clippety cloppety heels on wooden floors) too. You'll begin to learn and grow, discovering where your interests lie and shaping your own ambitions for the future. You'll learn how to read all by yourself - something I know you're very excited about. You'll make important friendships, some that may only last a short while and others that will stand the test of time. There'll be singing and PE and school trips and, if you're really lucky, maybe even chocolate concrete and pink custard at lunchtime.

It won't always be easy though. There might be times that you find yourself on the outside of certain friendship circles. You may become frustrated and overwhelmed by what's being asked of you (if you're anything like me that'll happen when it comes to learning about fractions...yuck). There will be times when you just don't feel like getting out of bed in the morning. I'd be lying if I said I haven't worried about how you'll cope with the transition but deep down I know you're ready.

I'm just not sure that I am.

Starting school marks the end of an era for both of us. My best friend (your Aunty Lucy) started her maternity leave on Friday and I remarked at how strange it felt that she is finishing work just as I'm about to increase my hours. Her baby years are just about to start while ours are well and truly over. But gosh, how I've loved them.

I will miss picking you up from nursery on a Wednesday lunchtime then having the rest of the week until the following Monday stretching out ahead of us. Nothing in particular to do and nowhere in particular to be. I will miss our lazy Thursdays, our Friday café dates and our impromptu trips to soft play and the park. I will miss afternoon naps, making your lunches and snuggling up in front of Disney films on rainy days. I will miss you.

But this isn't about me. It's about you and the next chapter in your life. This is your time now. You'll learn to be independent and you'll need me less and less. I just hope you know that, no matter how old you get, I'll always be here waiting to hear about your day.

I don't know if you'll ever read this but if you do I want you to know that you are ready to start school, you are happy about it and I have every faith that you'll handle the transition just as well as you've handled all of the other challenges you've experienced in your little life so far. I am so, so proud of you and I can't wait to see how the next few years unfold for you.

Have fun little one, I love you.

Your mummy xx



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