Today was J’s first day at primary school. After a bit of a battle we were lucky to get him a place in the school we wanted him to go to. It’s a familiar environment for him after attending nursery there and the staff are so friendly, welcoming and positive. Although I’m nervous about how he will be in school and emotional that my boy has reached this big milestone already, when it seems like only a short time ago he was a tiny baby, I’m reassured that he is in safe hands with people who will look after him well.
After getting him ready, looking very smart in his uniform, my husband and I set off to take him to school. My mum met us there too – this is a momentous day for us all. I was anxious that us all being there would upset him and that he wouldn’t want us to leave or he wouldn’t want to stay but I couldn’t have stayed away and missed his first day at school. He has come so far to get to this point and I had to be there to see it.
When we arrived we were taken down to the classroom and allowed to go inside and let the children explore the room, take some pictures and settle them in a little before we made a quiet exit to allow them to get on with their day. Primary one used to start with a half day for several weeks before children stayed the full day but now they do this right from day one!
We had already visited the school and class a few times before the summer holidays to allow the children to become familiar with the class and teachers. This helped J as he now saw this as a fairly familiar place and was quite happy to go inside. It did of course help that there were lots of cars and trains available for him to play with, as well as a sand pit where he could bury them. The staff in the class were very welcoming and calm. After a short time we left and J tried to follow us. He gave a little cry as we left the room and the teacher took him by the hand to lead him back inside and distract him. I do not know how I was not already a wreck on the floor at this point. Being eight months pregnant has already been playing havoc with my emotions, so I think I did very well to hold it together until we got as far as the car.
I never understood why people cry when their children start school. I always thought it would be nice to have the peace and quiet. I get it now. I cried. Not just because he was a bit upset when we left but because it’s such a big step forward for him. I cried through happiness that he’s there, pride that he managed it, sadness that he wanted us to stay and share it and we couldn’t, as well as a sense of anticipation about what’s next for my big boy. I hope he settles well in school and I am looking forward to seeing what this new chapter in his life will bring for all of us.
Some information about preparing your child for starting school: