It’s a day I’ve been anticipating and dreading for many months now – the start of school.
Yes, it’s something all parents go through. But all parents only go through their child’s FIRST DAY of big kid school once. And, for me, this once in a lifetime milestone is almost here.
So before I help my youngest put on her school uniform, before I snap the obligatory first day of prep photo, before I send her into the school grounds and before I break down into a weeping mess in the car park, here’s what both my little one and I need to hear.
If you have a child starting school, then join me as we mark this occasion with some happy vibes, positive words and uncontrollable tears. Because, let’s face it, this milestone is a big one. And many mums (okay, it might just be me) are not quite ready for it just yet.
To my daughter on your first day of school
You’ve been my little sidekick for five years now. During the day, as I work, you play beside me. We take breaks together. We have lunch together. We do everything together.
Today is no different.
Today, as you head into your new classroom, I will be there. As you take your seat and say hello to the teacher, I will be there. As you find your name sticker and put away your things, I will be there.
I will always be there.
The only little difference with today is that I do have to go at some stage. I will probably be one of the last mums to go and I will probably be hiding my eyes behind large sunnies, but I do have to leave today. And every school day after this.
But I will always be there to drop you off, to pick you up. And I will always be there waiting to hear all about your day.
It can take time to get used to everything.
Starting school is a big change for us both. And it’s one that we might not get the hang of right away. Going to school five days a week might mean you feel more tired and overwhelmed. It’s gonna take mummy some time to get used to not having you around during the day too.
It may also take some time to get used to your new classroom and make new friends. Don’t worry if you don’t find anyone to play with right away. This is normal. In time, you will find kids that you enjoy playing with. And they will find you. I have no doubt about that.
I’ve had you all to myself for the past five years, apart from a few daycare and kindy days. And I know you pretty well. You are an amazing little girl. And I’m not just saying that because I’m your mum. You’re smart, kind, considerate and beautiful. And you’re a pure joy to be with.
Let this lovely personality shine through. If some of the kids don’t see your sparkle, then walk away and find someone else to play with.
It’s okay to speak up.
All the kids in your class are new to school too. Some will be loud. Others will be quiet. Some will be silly. Others will be naughty. But, if any of them are upsetting you, hurting you or doing something you know isn’t right, then tell someone.
Who can you tell? Your teacher. Your brother (he’s only a few classrooms away). Or me. You’re not being a dobber. You’re simply being brave.
It’s also okay to feel scared.
And sad. Or shy. Possibly a bit excited. And happy. All of these feelings are perfectly normal. If these feelings are starting to become too much, then let’s have a sit down and talk about them.
Trust me, I’m feeling all of them too!
I’m so proud of you.
Not just today. But every day.
To my child starting school, I know you’re going to do great with this new challenge. I know you’re going to try your best and have fun along the way. You’ve always dived in with every obstacle that you’ve encountered and this is no different.
I’ve loved being the one to guide you during your first five years. I’ve adored watching you grow into the amazing little girl you’ve become. But, as your preschool days come to an end, I am also beyond excited to accompany you on this next adventure.
Just ignore the tears running down my cheeks. Someone must be chopping onions next door…
So, as we say our goodbyes and you settle in for your first day of school, remember,
I’ll see you very soon,
And I cannot wait for you to tell me all about your day.