At 5am, I woke with a jolt; feeling like I was late for an exam or an important appointment. But what appointment? My mind was so sleepy blur, I couldn’t quite recall what was so important…..Just as I rolled over to try to force myself to sleep for another hour, it dawned on me…..DS2’s first day at Big School.
At this point, I was fully awake; there was no way my brain would allow me to hit the snooze button now.
A momentous milestone in the life of my last born. And yet, I was filled with a certain dread; and not the dread that meant I was ‘losing’ my baby to the big, bad world of junior academia.
Rewind to the nursery years. 2.5 years of nursery and you would think he would be used to a daily routine of drop offs and pick ups. Ehhhh…nope…..I lost count of the number of times I picked up a screaming, red faced little boy dressed only in his underpants and a top, and drove to nursery to hand him over, (along with his trousers!) to his ever-patient teacher! Almost every return to nursery was marked with the ‘I don’t like nursery’ song and dance; after Christmas holidays, Easter break, and even after some weekends! If, after almost 3 years, he couldn’t get used to the lovely nursery he went to, how would he cope with school??????
Moving up day at Big School was, as I expected, but quite the opposite to all I had hoped and wished! Lots of clinging, lots of crying whilst other mums looked on with empathetic glances (but probably secretly thanking God, their children hadn’t reacted this way!!).
So, it was no wonder I was finding it difficult to send out the message to the universe that his first day at Big School, would be fine…….
6:30am and DS2 hopped out of bed, momentarily forgetting it was ‘D’ day……On realising his uniform had replaced his football kit as the new daily attire, he dived back under the covers! When I managed to coax him out, he looked so sad, almost frightened. We had a little chat, hugged and cuddled. But when it came to putting on his uniform, he resisted with the might of a trapped beast. He contorted his body into such positions, it made it nigh on impossible to get his uniform on. Going to Big School in just one’s underpants and a shirt was just not an option!
We continued our battle. I won. He looked cute. The crying stopped. I would like to say the tears dried…but there were none (from him anyway!). Transformed he almost skipped downstairs to breakfast. Drained, I felt like diving back under the covers!
On entering his new classroom, he was greeted by the lovely Miss S. To help ease the transition for the first timers, only half of the class was in today. We found a spot for his bags and started our ‘goodbyes’. He gripped DH and me so tightly. He wanted to be picked up. I so wanted to pick him up and run out the doors but, I resisted. We hugged and settled him at the boys’ table. He looked so bewildered but did not cry. My brave little son. We left. I couldn’t look back.
My morning at work was spent clock and phone watching…..expecting the school to ring. It didn’t.
At pick up DS2 was the first in line to get out the door! A big smile from him and a big hug from me.
‘Did you have a nice day?’ I asked tentatively?
Nodding his head vigorously, he said ‘yes’.
The weight lifted. He was happy and chatty about his day. He got a sticker for being a good boy! He was chuffed. I was so proud I wanted to cry.
Watching DS2 with his siblings in the afternoon, I noticed a shift in his demeanour and manner. He seemed more confident, he acted older and wasn’t backing down from his older brother as easily as he used to. Although he might not be able to express it, he knew he had achieved something big, something important, and all on his own. And why wouldn’t he be feeling pleased as punch about that!