Monday 5 September 2016

One year to go

Today, children go back to school and for many mamas, it's the very first day of school and a brand new chapter.

I know a few mums who have shared this next step in photos and in blog posts and I'm watching keenly as it's just one year until I will be in those shoes.

Another mum at the school gates, excited, nervous and no doubt teary-eyed.

I took time to take some photos of Ethan, not least because he's had a hair cut and looks super grown up - and of course, I take lots of photos of him all the time. But I wanted to have a photo or two to look back on, in one year's time, to remember how we were and how it felt before my little man joined school.

School is such a big part of your life and I have so many memories from my years in uniform. I also lived next to my secondary school as my Dad worked there, to my school days are very vivid and close to my heart.

I'm not sure how different it will feel, when it's Ethan's turn. He's at preschool one now, at the nursery he has gone to since he was eight months and one day old. He's about to move up to preschool two, which he will be a part of until next September when he moves onto school - the big time.

He spends his days with friends and he will start to have more structure in his new group, getting ready for learning at school. We have family and friends who are primary teachers so people we can call on for advice and support and hopefully this will demystify some of the process. For me, it's the unknown - so the more we can prepare, the more I feel we will make the transition and enjoy it.

Right now, Ethan has grown before our eyes. He holds conversations, remembers references from days or even weeks ago, and keeps us on our toes - and on our game. He has opinions, sometimes for no reason, but always knows how to show them and he's picking up on our phrases and even certain looks we give.

His moods can be inconsistent (same for adults, too) but underneath he is a very kind, thoughtful and caring boy who loves animals, loves his toys and loves his family - and will always show us and tell us.

He's fun, he's spirited and he really loves spending time with us.

I expect as soon as he starts school, he will find he needs us less and less and that's really what parenthood is about; loving, and letting go. We have children for ourselves firstly, to love and to nurture, but we realise we have to share. We have to share them with the world and let them become who they want to be, giving them support and love every step but letting them make their own choices.

I think that's why so many people find today hard; because we have to let go, a little, and can't go with them on this next stage of their journey.

But it's ok. They come home to us, and tell us what they learned and the fun they had. And we get to marvel at the people they become.

For us, we have one more year of life as we know it. Ethan's teaching us and learning so much already, I wonder what little boy will be before us in 12 months time.

A whole new adventure. Let's enjoy every moment. I will - while he's still all mine, and wants snuggles on the sofa with his mama and a blanket and all of his toys.

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