This afternoon, I will pick you up from your Reception class for the last time. Oh my little one, how can you have finished your first year of school already?!
First Day In Reception
I remember so vividly that first day when I dropped you off. I remember your hand clasped tightly to mine. I remember how small you looked in your oversized school uniform. I remember the matching love hearts we drew on our hands so that we’d know we were both thinking of each other. I remember how bravely you waved goodbye as I turned to go. And I remember the lump in my throat and the burn of tears in my eyes as I desperately fought to be out of your sight before giving in to my heartbreak.
Then And Now
So much has changed in that year. You have certainly enjoyed your time in Reception. I have seen you flourish. I have seen you develop new interests. I have seen you navigate a path through group politics and social etiquettes.
When you started, my precious child, I was so proud of you for knowing your letter sounds. Now you come home and read books to me! You tell me about new digraphs that you have learnt and the ‘tricky words’ you have learnt to spell.
When you started, my special girl, we still had numbers 1 to 20 with 15, 16 and 17 missing! Now you can add, subtract, double and halve! You can count past 100. You walk down the street and read out the house numbers to me. You’ve even started on your timetables (I’m pretty sure I didn’t learn any of THEM until I was in year 4!)
When I see what you have accomplished in a single year, I am inspired. The human capacity to assimilate knowledge and learn is astounding!
The End Of An Era
I know it sounds silly because I’m really excited to have you at home for the holidays, but I am reluctant to come and collect you. It will be the end of an era. Next year, I won’t be waiting for you in the closed off Reception playground. I’ll be out in the main playground with the parents of the ‘big kids’. You’re going to BE one of those big kids! How is that possible?! How has the time gone so fast?
I know you are still only 5 years old, but I feel like time is slipping through my fingers. I know that each change is small and, in many ways, insignificant, but they’re accumulative. And with each step, you are becoming more independent, more ready for the world, more separate from me.
My every fibre wants to hug you close, tuck you into my arms and never let go. How could I live without these cuddles, without waking up to your beaming smiles every day, without holding your hand round the shops?! The thought of it seems unbearable, like a thick mist clogging the air, making it hard for me to breathe.
Onwards And Upwards
And yet at the same time, this is my goal. Isn’t the aim of every mummy to prepare their children for life? Each lesson I teach you, each gentle message, each careful instruction is to better equip you for life. To send you out into the world with the life skills and tools you need.
So I shall come and collect you with head held high. I will grin from ear to ear as you run out of the door and fling yourself into my arms. I will enjoy these precious moments while you are in my custody. And I will choke back my tears as I set you on that one-way track away from my arms and into the kind, confident, delightful grown up that you are already cultivating. xxx