So this time last year the anxiety was starting to take over as I readied myself for the last summer before my daughter became a school girl. (4 years old, how could she be starting school?) We have been given our first choice of school, had met the Classroom teacher and had ‘ticked off’ the endless list of uniform and school paraphernalia. To all intents and purposes we were ‘ready’ but emotionally we were far from ready, well I say ‘we’… in reality ‘I’ was far from ready.
The thought of handing over my daughter to virtual strangers left me feeling panicked and tearful. Ok I know that sounds highly dramatic but think about it: for the first 4-5 years of our child’s life we as mothers (and in some cases fathers or other guardians) are the centre of our child’s world. We tend to their every need and whim; and we play a HUGE role of influencing and shaping them as people.
Totally freaked out
Suddenly they get to school age and we are legally obliged to send them into schools where they will spend the majority of the day for 5 days a week with people (obviously here I mean teachers but for dramatic effect I will stay with people!) we don’t really know and to be socialised with children we don’t really know. This totally freaked me out! Looking back now I can see it was having to hand over control of one of the most precious ‘things’ in my life, the realisation that she was growing up and that I had to let her do that.
Before we knew it the first day of school was here. We stood at the school gate and I braced myself for Betsy to suddenly become overwhelmed with the whole ‘starting school’ thing, but instead she looked at me, smiled and joined the forming queue of smartly dressed, excited little people (far too little to be going to school!).
The straw that broke the camel’s back
Well that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I had tried to stay positive and excited for Betsy’s sake but at this point I crumbled. What if she needed the toilet and didn’t know who to ask? Who would cut her school dinner up for her? What if she couldn’t undo her cardigan and became too hot? Would she have someone to play with at lunchtime? What if got too tired? What if she missed me? The worries were endless. I managed to get myself home where I sat and clock watched until it was time to collect her. Well she came out at the end of the day smiling and happy (understandably tired!). Betsy was a total rock star and took starting school totally in her stride whilst I fell apart!
A year later…
Fast forward a year and I am no longer feeling cheated or emotional by the fact that my daughter is now a school girl, instead it excites and fascinates me. Betsy has learned to read and write and has become an
independent little girl with a small army of friends. Watching her grow intellectually and emotionally as she fills her head with knowledge and learns to understand the world is such an amazing thing to witness and my little girl does not fail to astonish me with the way she faces the world head-on!