Dreading this day may sound a little too much, it’s not a negative and we must be optimistic of what’s ahead, but I have so many mixed emotions as the first born starts secondary school tomorrow.
Uniform all ironed and hanging up ready, backpack good to go consisting of just a pencil case at this stage, full with grown up stationary, (no more scented monster pens!) and new big boy shoes laid out by the front door ready for the moment he leaves the house for first time as a young adult.
Starting comprehensive school is a seriously important milestone of any child’s life, a time when they start to properly grow up, almost forced into it, and with adolescence looming and their bodies changing, it’s all a little overwhelming. A new school where they are now the babies, lots of new teachers as opposed to just one for the whole year, new subjects, some of which they’ve never done before are all things they will need to adjust to, and have to do so on their own.
It’s only if I really pause and think back over each year, that can I work out how we got to this point. If I think back at which teachers he had each year in infants and primary, if I recall holidays we went on each summer, and all the other milestones reached, it’s only then can I fully comprehend and believe that he is really old enough to start comprehensive.
He’s still just a baby to me, still my little Reggie Poo, still the one I used to sit and play Thomas the Tank with for hours, then Cars, then Ben 10, Lego, and more recently Pokémon, but now what? Now what will he be into, now what can he and I spend time together playing with? This time was precious to me, I would switch off from work, drop down to his level both physically and mentally, and just sit and watch his imagination run wild! If I’m honest, this hasn’t been the case for a while, for a year or so I guess, but I still always try and bring out the baby in him by suggesting board games and jigsaw puzzles, which he usually agrees to, I think out of pity for me! He’s already told me he wants nothing for Christmas this year, and I fear the truth is out there, but until he questions it, I’m playing dumb!
Mentally, as an 11yr old boy, I guess he’s younger than what I was at his age. I had it all under control, and even though I moved to a new town and started the same comprehensive school that he does tomorrow, knowing just 2 people, everyone was new so it didn’t really make a difference. But in my mind, I was ready, girls generally are I think, and being a lover of a new challenge, still am, I relished in the change, the new subjects, making new friends, and of course at that age, the new experiences.
I’m a little worried, I’m not going to lie. Will he find his registration classroom on day 2, will he find his way around the humongous school on his own to find all his classrooms, will he remember where to meet the boys at lunch break or will he be sitting in the corner alone with a tupperware bowl of cold pasta? I hate the thought of all of that and I hate that I can’t tell him how it’s all going to play out on day 1 because I can’t remember, it was a lifetime ago and has all changed now, but I can only hope that he adapts super quick to his new surroundings and new routine, and his new school life, and I will of course be there to support and help him along the way (sadly looking forward to homework!).
After spending today, the last day of the holidays at the local children’s Play Yard, with umpteen bouncy castles and footballs to keep the two of them entertained, he’s certainly enjoyed his ‘last day of freedom’ as he put it (jeez, if only he knew what’s ahead!), and this evening, I’ve planned a surprise back to school / end of Summer party, which having just typed that sounds kinda depressing, may need a new name, but something just to mark the occasion of my boy moving onwards and upwards.
I wish for lots of things daily; buy 1 get 10 free on wine at the local shop, temporary power cut in the house so I’m unable to work, a winning lotto ticket, but more than anything it’s for time to slow down. Not the 9-5, that could do with speeding up but the family time, the evenings, the weekends, the lazy mornings with Daddy making pancakes with faces and the kids laughing at his Homer attempts, they are the moments to be cherished, and my baby starting school just brings home how fast the clock ticks.
I know he’ll be fine tomorrow. He’s a good kid, got a good head on his shoulders and yes, there’s no doubt that even this first comprehensive year will see him grow up, but not too much please, although he’ll always be my baby.