Today you started your new adventure in year 1. Year 1! Even as I write that it doesn’t seem like it can be real. It really feels like 5 minutes since your very first day and even less since I wrote about your last day in reception. A huge part of me can’t even quite believe that you are old enough to be a fully fledged school child. That you are no longer the baby in the school and this is no longer new. As we walked up that familiar hill on the approach to school this morning I felt the difference. You didn’t hesitate, there was no firm grip of my hand or burrowing into me as someone spoke. You talked confidently about your summer, took ownership of the mountain of bags you seem to need on that first day and felt comfortable that you just knew what to do. After of course giving me a kiss you didn’t even glance back as you walked in through that gate, on your own, confident with your head held high.
We have had the most amazing summer, I have relished every single second having you with us and it has been totally wonderful. Of course there were times when you drove me crazy and you are one that requires constant stimulation so it can be overwhelming and exhausting, but I also love that about you. You have a thirst for knowledge that knows no bounds and a mature outlook far beyond your years that makes you just the most beautiful person to be around. I am not afraid to admit that I didn’t want you to go back to school. I just know how much I miss you.
Yet to you, you are absolutely ready. Part of your struggle to settle in the first year was that you have been ready for ‘real work’ as you call it, for a while now. And although you spent time in year 1 throughout last year you are more than ready for the structure that this will bring you in your learning style day to day. For the past few weeks whenever anyone asks if you are excited about going back to school you reply very nonchalantly that no, not really. It’s a bit boring and you’re not really that bothered.
So you can see why Mummy has spent today thinking of not much more than you. Not so much about you in school, you never have any problems going in and giving anything a go. But like any other parent I just want you to be settled and happy and ready to learn. School days truly can be the best of your life and I want to give you the fair chance at that.
I was slightly gutted about being at work come 3.15 so when Dad offered to bring you to work just a few minutes away to see me I was thrilled. Thrilled and slightly nervous, you are a heart on your sleeve kind of a girl who doesn’t hold back and I would know almost instantly how the day had gone by the look on your face! And the face I was greeted with was the one of pure joy.
In that instant I felt a huge sense of pride and relief that you were happy. Since that very moment you have been gushing about your new class, your new teacher. You are very proud that you have been given gold reading level books, that you get to choose your own and you have already jumped into reading them and learning about earthquakes and tsunamis. Your new teacher seems to have awoken a spark in you that usually only I get to see and that is so wonderful to me. So wonderful in fact that I want to go and tell her, to hug her and thank her already for that first day and for the enthusiasm she has encouraged.
I am under no illusions that, like with anything, there may be times you decide you’re not that fussed with it anymore and we have the conversation that you would rather be at home. But for now, as we say goodbye to this first day already I have never felt happier with the decision to send you to school, to send you to this one. And this time it isn’t about what it can offer you, other children and the village community, it is about just you, your learning, your teacher and your day.
As we read stories and chatted at bedtime as we always do, you told me that you had never felt quite like this about school. You were excited to go in the very next day already. That you felt all of the feelings that existed, but only positive ones, happy, excited, proud and joyful. The smile on your face could have replaced a thousand words. And as Mummy closed the door of your bedroom, your lamp still flickering in the corner and the noise of you snuggling under your covers echoing through the hall I had a tear in my eye. A really happy tear.
I am so proud of you baby girl. I am proud of everything you do and I am proud that you can stand out and be you.
I know that you will do well in year 1 and have so much fun along the way. May every day feel like today.
When I look at these photos I can hardly believe the difference that a year makes. You have changed so much but I can still see that sparkle in your eyes that I hope you never lose.
Your sister, your very best friend and your biggest fan, certainly will miss you. She wasn’t ever so best pleased that you wouldn’t be here and kept saying “Roma go School a-well”. I am in no doubt that you will miss her too and also that when the time comes, she will run in right after you!