This post will probably bore many readers but I am using it as more of a diary entry to remind me of my little boy at 4, now he has started school full-time. I just want to be able to look back and remember the little things I’m likely to forget, once he’s a stroppy teenager or (an even more scary thought!) a strapping grown man.
So here you are, Jake, having been in reception for a couple of weeks and already we can see a difference in you. Almost overnight you’ve calmed down and changed in many subtle ways (although the grandparents may disagree on any signs of calm!) After a long summer holiday you were definitely ready for something, and full-time school was the answer.
On day one, we both took you to school, worried about the change to a different teacher, a new classroom, new rules and procedures, school dinners and LONG DAYS! Many other parents were in tears as we chatted in the school yard that morning. But we needn’t have worried. It only took that one morning for us to be there, to show you your way, and since then you’ve embraced it with a new confidence and that cheeky smile.
I want to remember how you love being first in the queue, but are torn between that and running off with Luke and your friends to see who can run the fastest, shout the loudest or run in the wet grass even though it’s not allowed. I like chatting to the school mums while we wait for the bell, new friends in the making for me perhaps. When the bell goes, you give me a kiss and skip off up the ramp to your classroom, carrying your reading bag, walking with a jaunt like a little old man. Sometimes you forget that I am still there, waving and watching, my heart sinking as you go in without a care in the world for me, your Mammy. But then I am just so relieved that you are happy there and that is all that matters to any parent.
Other days you DO remember I’m there and I get a kiss or a high five though the railings or you blow me a kiss through the air. It makes my day! One day I know the kisses and hugs will stop, so I intend to make the most of them now (until it’s just completely uncool on your part!).
We’re already having to drag out of you what you’ve done at school (already teenage-like!) and often you even pre-empt my daily questions about your day with “I don’t know what I’ve done today or had for my lunch, Mammy, so don’t ask!”. That’s me told. You must be doing something right as we’ve had a multitude of merits already – long may it continue.
You even like doing your homework which I know for a fact won’t last! Helping to teach you to read is a privilege and, even though it’s sometimes hard to find the time, we will do. I wish I could bottle your enthusiasm for school, for life, for learning, as it is now. It will wane in the future, as it does for everyone. But I hope we can keep the magic alive for you for as long as possible.