To My Baby, On Your Very First Day Of 'Big School' 3 years ago

To My Baby, On Your Very First Day Of 'Big School'

When I find my mind wandering to Wednesday, I have that sinking feeling in my tummy. That slight dread. You see, that’s when you start ‘big school.’ How can this time be here already? How has it arrived so fast? Even the words: ‘big school’ don’t seem to apply to you. Is it not someone else’s child who is starting? Surely not you?

Your Montessori years always gave me great comfort; that you were being looked after; that your class size was small and that there was time for your personality and your little idiosyncrasies. Every morning you would arrive at the sliding inside door, stand dead still for a minute and then proudly slide it open announcing out loud: “Good morning everybody!” and your buddies inside would reply with excitement at seeing you. There won’t be time for that in ‘big school’. I know that.

I worry if you are actually ready for this transition. Socially, I am not so sure. You are not quite as confident as your big brother. But maybe that’s hidden somewhere and will find its way out once you start. I look at how big you’ve grown over the summer and how you’ve stretched in more ways than one and I know I have to dig deep and realise that you’ll be just fine.

I hope that you will settle quickly and will be really brave when its time to say goodbye to me on the first day, and every morning after that. You know you can be brave. Just remember going to the dentist for the first time recently and sitting up on the big chair and being such a big boy? You can be that brave again.

Remember that no sooner than we are saying goodbye in the morning, you’ll be running back out the door to go home, telling me how brilliant your day was.

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I hope you find a friendly face on your first day; someone who will smile at you because they’d like to share the bucket of dinosaurs or the building blocks. Someone who will play chasing with you at your break-time (because that’s your favourite game to play) and who’ll be happy to see you again the following day.

I hope all the things you hear about and learn will excite you and make you want to learn more. I hope you’ll always remain as curious and fascinated by the world around you, in the years to come in school, as you do now.

I really hope that you will always stick up for the person in your class who needs it the most and include the person who has no one to play with or who never gets picked. If that’s you, then I hope someone takes your hand and encourages you to join in with them. I hope you will always feel secure and safe in school. If something feels wrong or is wrong, I hope you’ll have the courage to tell someone who can help you. And never forget that Daddy and I are always here to listen and help when you come home from school too.

Colour outside of the lines little man! Paint the sky green and the grass blue. May your creativity and your zany imagination soar higher and higher this year. Remember that what you have to say is important, and I hope you will always feel that this year, but also remember to listen to other people, let them speak too and take your turn politely.

I wish your teacher patience and understanding and lots of empathy for the very special little people that are in her care this year. I hope above all that she will take the time to get to know the superstar that you are and hope that she will always encourage you, enable you and make you feel important and safe in this, your first year.

So although I dread next week, I know that it has to come. And I know you’ll be fine. This is your time mister, your first real step out into the big world, the letting go of my hand for a little while and the start of your next big adventure.

Ciara O'Shea is the brilliant MamaBaker blogger. Catch up with her for honest musings on life as a baking mum.