As we come to the end of our first half term I’m thinking more about what it is like to have a school aged boy when the last month or so has been a total roller coaster of emotions. If I had wrote this post a couple of weeks ago it would be completely different. I hadn’t accepted that it was time for me to let go, I was struggling to come to terms with Lucas spending the majority of his day in school, I was feeling a bit glum about the whole thing. It wasn’t the same for Lucas, thankfully he loves school and happily goes in every day but I was still feeling anxious. I never thought I would be one of those mums, upset that her little boy was growing up, worrying about every little thing, I was in danger of becoming irrational over the smallest things.
Somewhere over the last few weeks that has changed and I feel like a weight has been lifted. I spent so much of his time in nursery worrying about the leap up to Reception, he’s my August baby and I wasn’t sure he would be ready. Each parents’ evening they would tell us how they struggled to get him to do a structured activity that involved writing, colouring, counting. He was the same at home, any time we suggested anything that he viewed as formal learning he just completely refused. I knew the battle they were up against, everything had to be on his terms.
Somewhere along the way all of that has changed. I don’t really know what has made him finally turn the corner on that one but suddenly he is eager to write, to draw, to tell us things, to point out his letters and numbers. Maybe it was just he needed that little extra time to mature, to be sure that he could give it a go and find the confidence to at least try. As time goes on he tells me more and more about his days in school and I get little clues into his world there. As we walked home yesterday he told me the lampost was a cylinder, all these little signs that he is taking in new information. My heart aches a little when I see the look on his face as he tells me something new, when he points out a letter he has seen on a sign and he is so proud to show me what he has learnt. I wasn’t sure we would ever reach that stage with him. I can tell he is excited to show us these things and I hope he is the same in school.
I love that he has suddenly become engaged and I know a lot of that is down to the school. They seem to have a very warm and secure environment for the children and I don’t sense that there is too much pressure. We don’t get given much homework, something that I’m sure would drive some parents mad but for me it is perfect. Lucas has a reading book and a little envelope of words and we do them as often as we can. I’m just not willing to sit down and do work with him every night when that time is for him to play with his brothers and listen to his favourite stories at bedtime. I want this sudden love of learning to stick around, he doesn’t need to be overloaded at this age.
One whole half term done and each and every day he goes in with a smile on his face. I don’t even get a backward glance when he goes through those doors. I can see how much it is changing him and moulding him into the school boy he is going to be. He laughs away with his friends and chases round after them in the playground before school and he seems so carefree, so innocent I just want to stop right here and enjoy it all. This age is really something special, it is truly incredible to take that step back and watch them negotiate their own world without you in it. The beginning of school is the the start of trusting them to keep going with what you have done for the last four years. It’s the hardest thing ever to hold your tongue and trust that they will choose the right way and to hope that when they don’t they learn from it.
I feel like I’ve wasted parts of the last few weeks being anxious when I could have been celebrating the way my boy is growing. I could kick myself and I wish I could go back and really feel confident about this new start. As always, he goes above and beyond what I expect of him and I hope this is the last time I make that mistake. School is giving him something that I can’t – he has that extra independence and the chance to make some of his own decisions. It seems to have changed him in so many little ways that I couldn’t explain to anyone but when I think about him I can tell. He has grown up, in just a few short weeks he has been filled with a new energy. I can picture him now as he comes out of school, loaded up with his bags and trailing his coat on the ground, glue on his jumper, shirt un-tucked and a bright smile on his face. I couldn’t imagine these days when he was a tiny baby and it is surreal now it is happening. It is strange and brilliant all at the same time, what a funny month this has been and what an amazing one too.