I’ve just dropped off a piece of me in a classroom with lots of people I don’t know. The little lady has started reception at primary school.
My daughter is friendly, kind and gentle. She loves imaginative play and reading books. She likes routine. I have no doubt that she will enjoy school, I’m just not sure how much I’ll enjoy her being there!
Anyone who knows me that I will cry at TV programmes, songs that come on the radio and a fleeting thought about someone’s sad situation, so it was a huge surprise that I didn’t cry today dropping Audrey off at her first day of school.
Several factors helped – school drop off is not a romantic, sound-tracked moment.; it’s carnage! We went as a family, with a child in a buggy and one on the loose, we battled through a crowd of legs and shouting and hugging and hellos and goodbyes to get to her class. Also, Audrey was very excited. She managed to (almost) walk all the way there (major achievement) and she jumped, sang and hugged her way down the road, she was genuinely happy to be going to school. It’s tricky to feel the true emotion of a momentous occasion when you are in it. It’s actually easier for me to be tearful anticipating it or reflecting on it.
And so, here I am in a cafe. Ted and Rex are off shopping (typical boys!) and Audrey is in her school classroom, with her teachers.
Of course I can’t help but reflect on 5 years with her. 10 months of maternity leave of just us, followed by a mix of us and nursery, us bump and nursery, us Rex and nursery… and now Audrey has her own thing, she is a schoolgirl!
“They” say it goes in a blink of an eye. I don’t know if I feel quite like that, but I do feel immensely proud of Audrey and how far we have come from tiny baby on oxygen to confident 5 year old.
As I analyse my feelings, I can see what is creeping in… I felt it during maternity leave with Rex. She had her nursery days and we went to groups but I was suddenly a different mum, I was seemingly a mum of one typical child but that was not my whole identity. She is a part of me, a part of me that I am truly proud of and it can feel very strange to be out and about without her. What a mix of emotions this brings and a new chapter for us all – I have handed in my notice at work and plan to work on freelance writing. I am very lucky to have a supportive husband allowing me to take this leap and it also means that I can be there to drop off and pick up Audrey from school.
Happy September and good luck to everyone in their “firsts”, I love autumn and I’m feeling so very happy that its crisp and sunny outside and the leaves will soon be crunchy under our feet. My favourite time of year.