That’s it then. Pre-school has finished and come September, Youngest, my baby, will be starting primary school. I am thrilled for her but also feeling a little nostalgic. For a while there I was worried that Youngest wasn’t ready for school. I feared that she would struggle. However, on her settling in day she was happy and charging around. She was confident, cheeky and full of spark. I just hope that she holds onto that spark when she starts school in September.
Youngest and I have had a glorious 4 years together and this makes it all the more bitter sweet. With her older sister I was always working full-time and while I was still nervous and anxious for Oldest, it didn’t quite feel like the same wrench. Also, in the background I now have that biological clock. It has started ticking louder (tick, tock, tick, tock = time’s running out) and at an ever increasing pace. I am dreading the empty house and the quietness that will shroud me. Just one more baby my heart says, madness shouts my brain (and perhaps Mr C).
I know that the ticking biological clock is just me feeling like I am no longer needed. It’s a reaction to the next stage. Yet, I am still very much needed. Also, I will still worry. I am worrying now as I type this. How will Youngest cope in school? She has the concentration span of a gnat. Abhors sitting still and writing, preferring to be playing outside in the mud. She would rather play with dinosaurs to babies. She can tell you what a T-Rex and Triceratops likes to eat from all of the documentaries she has watched. Yet, she doesn’t really like reading. She also isn’t that taken with drawing or colouring. She likes to take an abstract approach to painting, choosing to throw the colours on the board, making a glorious mess. She refuses to write her name, that is unless you give her a wall. She loves dancing, acting and playing the clown. She has the loudest and dirtiest laugh that is infectious. She is kind and caring but also stubborn and wilful.
Youngest is my daughter and I love her. I hope that her teacher loves her too.
I hope that her teacher delights in her quirks like we do and I hope that she makes lots of friends who also love her for being her too.
I worry that in school Youngest will suddenly find herself being forced into a place where she doesn’t fit. That the demands she finds placed upon her and the expectations of where she should be and how she should be progressing will mean that she loses her spark. Youngest is all about expressing herself, she won’t be tied to a desk, she won’t be forced to conform. I hope her teacher encourages her to be herself. I don’t want Youngest to find herself being moulded to fit in with the education system, I don’t want her to feel pressure to meet targets. I want Youngest to feel inspired, excited and confident. I want her to retain her innocence but also be inquisitive. I want her to ask questions and for her teacher to help her find the answers. I want her to be allowed to be a child, to play and have fun.
I know that on her first day I will be upset, but I will hide it. I will plaster a smile on my face, holding the tears back as I usher her into the classroom. Handing her over to her teacher, forcing myself to let go of her small hand. This milestone is just another reminder of how fast time is going, how we are all getting older and how our family is changing. I am dreading the moment I have to watch her be swallowed up by the school. I’m dreading the moment I have to leave her behind. Yet, this is her time now. This is Youngest’s time to fly, her time to forge friendships. Her time to come out of her sister’s shadow. Now it’s time for me to let her go. I will no longer be the one setting the rules during the day, I won’t be the one she runs to if she hurts herself. I hope the teacher looks out for her, I hope that she gives Youngest a hug if she needs it. But most of all I hope that Youngest loves school and that I can continue to ignore the ticking clock….tick, tock, time’s running out.