Almost one year ago today, Finlay started school. As he entered Foundation Stage, I remembered back over the last 4.5 years. Without meaning to sound cliche, it had gone in a blink of an eye. That tiny newborn was standing before me, a child. In crisp, slightly too big school uniform, looking so so grown up. A lump was in my throat, but I remember feeling immense pride. We all stood in our kitchen that first morning filled with such a strange excitement. None of us quite knowing what this next chapter in life would hold, but knowing somehow, it was going to be good.
I learnt many things that the first term, like how amazing my darling little boy could be. That he took it all in his stride and got stuck in 100%, never complaining and wanting so hard to please. I learnt that clothes just disappear and then thankfully reappear. That the wrong shoes won’t last the term and you will never have enough clean jumpers and t-shirts or that trousers will never last on the legs of four year olds! However, without a doubt the best thing I learnt was that my little boy survived his transition to school and flourished, why did I worry?
As the terms moved on It made me laugh how you can instantly be transported back to your own childhood when the teacher says “can I have a word” at pick up! Feelings stirred in me that I hadn’t felt for years and I’m the four year old being reprimanded by my teacher. I think this is some kind of superpower that all teachers have just to make sure we’re on board. Don’t get me wrong, Finlay’s teacher was amazing and so kind, a lovely woman and I am forever grateful to her for her support.
We all learned as time went on Finlay would struggle at times. I appreciate how difficult the conversation must have been to initiate when his teacher raised her concerns. We followed her advice and sought a referral to the local paediatrics department. This is still in process (we learned how long this process can take), but Finlay’s teacher, supported him throughout, never pushing him too much, but encouraging him and finding ways that worked for him. There were times when I wanted the playground to swallow me up, but she was there, calming him down. She did a fantastic job and he finished the year meeting and exceeding his targets. We learned just how lucky we were for Finlay to have her as his first teacher.
In his last term I learnt how bad mum guilt can be. I only sent him to school in uniform on mufti day. Luckily daddy had spare clothes in the car, but my gosh. You see, you start the year so organised but by the time the last few months come around, its gone to pot! I even sent Finlay to School with one shoe on once, yep beat that!
I guess the point of this post is, starting school is so exciting. However, it’s also extremely daunting and full of the unexpected. For both parents and children, especially if it’s your firstborn. You will have so many worries, but these little humans really are amazing creatures. They will make you feel more proud than you ever thought you could feel this year. They will be naughty at times, they will cry and scream and fight. You will forget something (hopefully not one shoes!) but it really doesn’t matter. They don’t have to be perfect and nor do you. This year is the start of something amazing!