Thursday was a very busy day for us this week.
We’re preparing Ruby for what’s to come this September. And by this I mean “big school”. Primary School. Reception Class.
I, like every other parent who’s child is about to make this very big leap I’m sure, just cannot quite believe that it’s time for this already. And I actually feel quite sad about it all for a number of different reasons, but mainly for the many different little losses that we’re about to suffer.
At 9.15am on this very busy of days, we dropped Ruby off for her longest ‘stay and play’ session yet. She would have 2 hours of play and settling in time with her new classmates at St. Chads before we would join her for lunch in the school hall.
The first loss. The loss of our Thursdays together. Once she starts school, the 3 years of spending each and every Thursday together having fun and visiting friends will be over.
11.30am came along and we queued with Ruby behind all the other little people to wait for our lunch, all the while desperately trying to push the thought of her having to manage to do this all by herself in just a few short months out of my head.
She chose vegetable pasta bake and chocolate cake and opted for a cup of water, and as I watched her do all this and then concentrate so hard on getting to a table without dropping it I was so proud, but also acutely aware of another little loss.
The second loss. The loss of her needing me for big things like this. Soon she won’t need me anymore. Not even to do the difficult things.
Once lunch was over and she’d had a little chat with the teacher (the lady with the blonde hair, as she’s known!) we hopped off to pre-school for Graduation Day.
Humpty Dumpty Day Nursery and Pre-School has pretty much been Ruby’s second home since the age of 12 months when I had to return to work after maternity leave. It’s probably not right to admit that but, just as we spend more time at work than at home, if we have to return to work then our children spend a great deal of their lives in childcare settings. Getting it right is therefore essential.
Humpties is a fantastic nursery. And the pre-school is brilliant for Ruby. She has loved it there, and formed some super special friendships…Erin, Luca, Hannah, Jamie…these are the first real friends she has ever had.
The third loss. The loss of the most lovely little group of friends that my daughter has become so attached to. The friends that have helped her to develop and prepare for the big wide world.
How she will get over the loss of Erin especially I do not know. Her best, best friend for years now Erin will be heading to a different school…and I don’t know yet if it’s quite clicked that she won’t be seeing her every day any more. These two are the most beautiful, funny little friends you ever will see. The troublesome twosome that are actually so good for each other, laugh great big belly laughs at each other and help each other with everything. It will definitely be our responsibility to ensure they carry on seeing each other as the years tick by.
Me being me, I honestly didn’t see the point in a Graduation Day. Another Americanism creeping on in. Graduating nursery seemed pretty silly. But I was more than happy to be proved wrong as I watched the little ones accepting their scrolls and posing for photos with the staff before raiding the sweetie bar and laughing their bellies off at the comedy magician. It was a truly special afternoon. It made me laugh. It made me cry.
One of the wonderful things about nursery and pre-school I guess, is that as a parent you’re still so involved in everything. I stand there every afternoon when I collect her listening to what she’s been doing throughout the day; what she’s eaten, who she’s played with. And it dawns on me that come September I won’t get any of that information anymore…
The fourth loss. The loss of almost total knowledge about my daughter. No longer will I get to find out everything about her day…instead it will just be the bits of information she feels necessary to tell me. I’ll sit there every evening desperate to know what’s been happening, how she’s been feeling, who she has played with. And I can only hope that she’ll still want to tell me!
September will come around so quickly now that the summer is here (ha! there’s a laugh!) and as I sit here thinking of all these little losses, all of the incredibly exciting bits are popping into my head too…
- Learning to read – Ruby is so excited to learn to read so that we can “read the bestest stories together”
- Learning to write – so “I can write down all the stories in my head Mummy”
- Making new friends – I think she is most excited about this one
- School uniform – Ruby can’t wait to pull on the St Chads cardigan we’re buying for her. I can’t wait to see her in pinafore dresses, summer dresses and frilly white socks!
- School trips – she saw a class on a school trip to the zoo when we went for her birthday and got so excited about where she might go with her class
- Growing up – because, whilst I would happily keep her as my baby forever, growing up is so exciting and I cannot wait to see the wonderful little girl she becomes.
Maybe it won’t be so bad after all.
Maybe it will even be fun.
Speak soon, x