A little under a year ago I wrote a candid blog post describing how I felt “emotionally confused” and “melancholy” because Izzy, our youngest daughter, was starting school. The confusion and melancholy have passed but, wow, what a year it has been as family life has changed so much for us.
Our little girl went into school just about able to write her name. She came home the other day with her school report in which she had stated in child-like but neat handwriting that she wants to “get better at writing descriptions.” That’s quite a leap in a short space of time.
Whether it’s the influence of school or something else I don’t know, but character-wise she has really come out of her shell. There’s no question, she’s growing up.
Being our youngest daughter, it was all the more significant when Izzy started school. Her big sister, Helen, will be going into Year Five in September and for some time now she’s been tackling mathematics far more complex than I ever attempted at secondary school, let alone at primary school.
It’s obvious that Helen’s entering the tween stage. Public displays of affection, once unquestioned, aren’t always appreciated. You can see that friends are, slowly but surely, becoming a bigger part of her life.
It’s simply what happens. I was the same at her age, but it does hurt a little, just a little to see this change.
And what of me? As I said in that previous blog post, Izzy starting school last September represented a huge change for me.
I would remain Helen and Izzy’s main carer. While Mrs Adams concentrated on her career, I would continue doing the school run, organising the play dates and after school activities and so on. I just wouldn’t have a pre-schooler by my side.
There was going to be more time for me to concentrate on the blog and I would work for myself during school hours. This has come to pass, but the past year, especially the past six months, have been a turbulent time and I haven’t had as much spare time as I hoped.
At the very start of the year, my father in law passed away. As you can imagine, it was a tough period and we still feel the impact of his passing now (does a family every truly get over such things?).
We also decided to sell up and move house. We moved just a couple of weeks ago but buying a new place and organising the move has dominated family life. With Mrs Adams working full time, I’ve had to handle most of this. As a result, I haven’t had as much time as I thought, although I hope to get the last few boxes unpacked maybe this week or next.
With Izzy starting school back in September, the talk at home is about secondary schools for Helen. Family life doesn’t stop, it just gets faster and the stakes higher!
With Izzy finishing her first year at school and my first academic year without a young child on my hip coming to an end, I feel the confusion and melancholy have gone. They’re replaced by acceptance that my kids are growing and developing at a speed I never quite imagined.
It’s also bittersweet. My kids are becoming more and more independent. It’s the way of the world but I think even I’m surprised how quickly it’s happening now both are in the school system.
Are all your children at school now? Do you find the rate they develop terrifying? Maybe your youngest starts school in September? What hopes and fears do you have? Please do leave a comment below with your thoughts.