My heart goes out this time of year, to all the mums having to hand over their precious children into the care of ‘big school’. We have all summer together, willing the date to get nearer, to be able to field some of the “why” questions, desperate for more time on our hands without having to be the soul provider of entertainment, knowing they will love making new friendships, devour new information and begin their journey of independence and growth. Why then is it so incredibly hard when that day finally arrives?
Of course there are the obvious worries about how our children will cope; Will they remember where the toilets are in time? Will they have a happy day and meet a nice friend? Will they like the cooked dinner and eat something? Will they be brave enough to speak up if they need something? Add to that a great big dollop of selfish feelings about how we feel. Oh come on, its true. I hate this defining moment when you know your child is growing independent and will ultimately leave you to discover a life for themselves and of course that is what I will encourage every step of the way but it doesn’t make it less hard.
I feel I owe Jesse a lot. What he has had to witness and cope with for over half his life now has not been the carefree, innocent, happy and exciting world I wanted to create for him. One day he was happily playing with his big brother in the garden, the next, a life separated from us all having to live with Granny much of the time and hospital visits ending with his inevitable howls echoing the corridors when it was time for him to leave. Jesse has been deprived the social life he craves. He is desperate to make friends with children his own age and I have made it my number one priority to make sure he has my full support.
I have been very proud of myself and tried to blend in with the school parents, performing my best 'jolly' persona to date. "Smile", I tell myself every few steps.
Walking to school each day with Jesse (who is still somewhat reluctant), I get flashes of Skye constantly. Memories of his excited face when we bought his new school shoes and writing his name in his brand new book bag all come flooding back. Seeing the older children running to school with their older siblings, knowing that Skye should be with us, holding Jesse’s hand or bumping him into hedges and playing tag on the way in. My heart is so heavy (smile). Jesse feels it too and while I believe he enjoys making new friends and comes running out at the end of the day with a big grin on his face, each morning however he gets very worked up at the thought of leaving us for a whole day. He said he wished Skye could be at the school with him. Skye, (with my help) has been writing Jesse little notes and leaving them in Jesse's shorts pocket for him to read at school to make him feel less alone. Please tell me it gets easier?!
To finish, I would love to share this snap of Skye on his first day at school where we visited his class just for a short time. He boldly stuck up his hand, insisted I march him to the front of the class where he wanted to do demonstrate the purpose of his school swimming hat. “It goes on like this,” he said “and it keeps your hair from getting wet in the pool, well, it would if you had any which I don’t, ha, ha.” I will never forget it – what an amazing attitude.
Jesse has already seemed to have captured the hearts of many of the girls in the class so he must have picked up a few tricks from his big bro!!