My eldest starts school in a few days time and I must admit I'm surprised by my own reaction to it. I'm stilling rooting for being dry eyed at the gate but I can't count on it! In my case I'm lucky enough that it's affecting me more than him - he's thoroughly excited about the whole thing and has been dying to go since his pre-school term ended.
Being at Fundamentally Children I'm not short of good advice and have paid particular attention to our articles on starting school this year but no matter how much you understand the advice it's still an emotional time.
In a weird sort of way it reminds me of being pregnant. You can easily get wrapped up in the practicalities of what you need, the uniform, labelling, lunches, forms, etc etc. You worry about that 'first day' (although I'm really hoping that's less painful than childbirth!). But what you can easily overlook and what is finally dawning on me is that just like getting a 'new baby' to take home, this is forever. Gone are our chances of holidays in term time and outings without queues and more sadly gone I fear shortly will be my little pre-schooler. Excited as he is to be going, he nervously said (after speaking to a 'big boy' in an older year) "Mummy do I have to pretend to not like colouring?
Photo credit: Lucy Gill
I have that horrible feeling that I've forgotten something and must have read the forms a thousand times. I remain quite sure I'll have failed to get something or fill something out by day 1. I also feel like there were things I wanted to do with those crowd-free term time days although I can't put my finger on what. Being a working mum I also can't help feeling - did I miss something?
Everyone tells you how quickly they grow up in their first year at school. He's changed so fast even in the last few months that I can well believe it. Don't get me wrong, I love nothing more than watching my children learn and develop so growing up is good but at this point a little nostalgia for those days of total innocence is allowed. I'll just overlook the memories of those constant everyday battles and keep my rose tinted glassed on for a few moments (getting dressed, getting out of the house, meal times, constant mess, potty training, endless hours to fill, bedtime etc etc).
Ok, now I remember! Afterall, everyone has to go to school, he's ready, I'm ready, the school's great, it's free childcare for 6 hours a day - what's not to love!