We’ve a big milestone looming. School days are upon us. And the truth of it is, I’m feeling really sad about it.
We went along for our parents evening a few days ago, so I’m now fully prepared. We know the class Boo will be in, her teacher, all about her school day, her free school meals (I do like that fact!) and her curriculum. I have everything she’ll need, uniform, PE Kit, book bag, coat, all labelled up ready. She’s thrilled with it all, and we’ll be going into her new classroom for her first settling in session this week, which she’s desperately looking forward to. So, it’s not her, it’s me.
I don’t want my daughter to go to school in September. She’s still my baby. She always will be, I guess. I’m fortunate that she’s an early October baby, so she will be nearly 5 when she goes. But I don’t want her to go. I want her to stay with me and her little brother each day.
We love our outdoor adventures, library trips, hours spent gardening, painting and crafting sessions, book-reading snuggles and more. We love being able to take off at any time we choose, the three of us, having fun, making memories. But, these days are coming to an end very soon. Of course Boo doesn’t know I’m sad, I am happy and enthusiastic when I talk to her about it, and will continue to be. I am cherishing our time together this summer.
Boo is ready to go to school. Academically, she knows her alphabet, can write it, spells and writes a few words and can read a fair few more than that. She draws and creates at an above average level for her age (entirely thanks to her dad’s genes, definitely not mine!). She has a thirst for knowledge, is always asking questions, picks up and retains new information very easily, and understands it. But all of this aside, socially, she is ready. She makes friends easily, shares well, gets praised at her preschool for taking other younger or shy children under her wing and encouraging them to join in and play.
I know I’m fortunate to have a child going that is ready. That is that little bit older than some of the other children. That is excited and enthusiastic. I do know this. But it won’t make me miss her any the less.
Not wanting to let go, not wanting the school runs, not wanting the routine and lack of freedom that school imposes, are all issues for me to deal with, not her. No longer being the centre of her universe is something that I need to ready myself for. I don’t like to think about how it might change her. She’s confident. She’s happy. She’s active. She doesn’t worry about what other people think of her, she just throws her all into everything, offers friendship, and assumes the best in others. I know she needs to learn that not everyone is like her. I know she has lessons ahead of her. I know I need to be here for her, rather than protect her from them, as that’s life, that’s parenting. Logic tells me all of this. Logic tells me that she’ll love it there, knowing her as I do, and that she’ll be fine. Logic reminds me that she’s just going to school, not going away forever, and that there are weekends and holidays. But I’m still sad.
Am I alone in this? How did you feel when your children started school? Or are you in the same boat as me now?