Honestly, I try not to think of Lucas starting school too often, my stomach flips everytime I think of it. This week we had a meeting at his school to learn more about what will happen in September and the headteacher welcomed us by saying, ‘we hope this will be the start of a fantastic seven year relationship’, seven years! It really hits home that this is happening now and it’s a big thing. All those parents sit together in the hall and each one wants to give their child the very best, they want them to shine in school, to be looked after and understood.
We already know the school as he goes to the pre-school there but it was nice to see his new classrooms and meet the teachers. I know everyone looks for different things in a primary school but this one seems just right for us; it is so welcoming and has the good feeling when you walk round it. We wanted somewhere that allows them to be children, to let them be young and allows for learning at a child’s pace. In the talk there was no mention of levels and targets and lots of talk about everything they do outside of the classroom, like toasting marshmallows and nature drawings, afterall they are only four! The classrooms were full of bright art work, gruffalo pictures, books in every corner; as we walked round we smiled and pointed out the things that we know Lucas would love and we could see other parents doing the same.
I am so pleased that this will be his school, whenever we go to see it me and my husband come away talking about how much we love the feel of it. We can see Lucas being happy there and even think of the twins starting there in a few years. The children seem happy and the parents are behind the school, it is a community that we will be part of for a long time and we already feel a part of.
In September his teacher will welcome in another class of 30 children and to them it will be the start of another working year but to me it is the start of something new and strange, my son will be among those children. We met all the teachers and I’m sure each parent feels the same – you want to talk to them and to tell them all about your child. To tell them all the amazing things they can do and let them know what they aren’t so good at. You have a desperate urge to explain your child even though I know that any good teacher will have them figured out in under a week.
I don’t really think I smother my children, Lucas is certainly very independent but for most of the day he will be without me and that is hard. We’ve spent the last four years together and I know him inside out; I want to tell them that he is stubborn, he’s strong-willed and that sometimes he can be hard work but I also want to tell them that he’s worth it, he is worth the hard work because he is kind, he is full of fun, he loves to play and make friends. He is still trying to figure it all out and although he will need a firm hand he will need a whole load of compasssion too.
Of course as parents we see the very best in our children, we see all that they can be and as they start school we are passing that over to someone else. This feeling is strange, I will miss him more than I can say and yet it is exciting for Lucas. It makes me think of my own mum when I started school and how I never, ever realised what it must have been like for her. Until now I have never thought about how she must have felt walking me into the classroom on my first day. We moved a few times when I was young and I joined my main primary school a few months late – all the worry that must have gone into that decision and I was oblivious to it all. I had my days when I was nervous, I was shy and quiet but I always went into school happily when she must have been a nervous wreck. I have never understood how difficult it must have been for her until now, I must ask her about it! In some ways it makes me feel better; for all my worry and sadness Lucas will never know it. I may leave school with tears but he will go into class full of excitement. On his first day at school it is all about him, it is the start of a new adventure, the start of something amazing.