So that’s it, my baby’s started school. Although of course she isn’t a baby, she’s a little girl. It’s just that I can’t get over how quickly we’ve reached this milestone in her life. It seems like only yesterday I was cutting her umbilical cord.
She’s been going almost a week now and I think I’m just about getting used to it. Today was the first day I dropped her off when it didn’t feel like I’d taken a blow to the chest.
I don’t quite know why it bothers me so much. I’ve been dropping the children off at nursery for years without giving it a second thought but going to school is somehow a much bigger affair.
I think part of it is the age children start school these days. When I see all these four year olds at school in the morning I think they look so young. I can appreciate that it must have been a seismic shift in the education system when reception classes were introduced.
I have to salute the school. Its handled the introduction of Helen and her classmates incredibly well. For the first few weeks the new intake only goes to school in the morning. This has been very awkward to fit around my part time work and her little sister’s childcare arrangements, but I see it’s for the best.
Not that I’ve always thought this way. I had previously found myself at parties, glass of wine in hand, bemoaning the fact the children don’t start straight away with a full school day. Ignorance is bliss and now Helen’s at school I can see these youngsters need to be gently brought into the school community and I applaud the skill of the teachers and teaching assistants in doing this.
The most important thing is that Helen seems to be happy. There’s clearly more settling in for her to do but she seems to like going every day and we hear more about what goes on at school then we ever did at nursery.
At this point I hope you’ll forgive me a small digression. There was a delightful moment on Helen’s very first day. My wife had taken the day off so we could do the drop off and collection together and we had our youngest daughter with us. Helen and her classmates were bought out into the playground and put into an orderly line prior to being handed over to their parents. Helen caught site of her little sister, broke into a huge smile and called out her name. It’s something I’ll never forget.
I can’t pretend otherwise, having my first born start school has been tough but I’m getting used to it. It’s certainly seems to have been tougher for my wife and I than Helen.
I will, however, leave you with one thought. About a year ago I was chatting to my mother about schools and the like. I knew that she had been to boarding school, but I was more than a little surprised, shocked even, to discover that she had been sent to boarding school at the age of five.
I suspect this was quite normal by the standards of the day but the thought makes my eyes well up. I just can’t imagine my little girls being sent off with a little trunk and not seeing them for days or weeks on end. It might be tough waving goodbye to little Helen each morning, but at least she doesn’t have to experience anything like her grandmother did.