I honestly thought the next letter I wrote to you that had life-changing details in it would be about you becoming a big brother. I was wrong. The next life-changing letter I get to write to you is all about you starting “big school.”
Being born on the cut off date for school, we had decided we would hold you back a year. So it came as a surprise to even us, when just a couple of weeks before school finished, we changed our minds. You and I went to visit the school up the roadand you instantly loved it and declared it “The best school EVER!” (because of the 3 playgrounds, undoubtedly).
You were so excited at the idea of going to “prep school” (as you call it) with Joshy and Noah that I couldn’t possibly consider holding you back. So the next day we signed you up, got your books and your uniform and it was just that easy. Now we are just a week away from your first day, and I have all kinds of mixed emotions about it. You were beyond excited, and in the last week of kindy, when I’d tell you it’s time to get ready for school you’d say, “Am I going to big school today!?!?” with such hope in your voice that it breaks my heart to tell you, “No, kindy.”
To be honest, I don’t remember my first day of school. I’m sure my mum and I both cried. I’m sure I will cry on your first day, but hopefully not in front of you. I’ll try to hold it together until I get in the car. You absolutely thrived when we switched your kindy, so I am hoping you make the transition to school just as well.
Yesterday was your first day at big school and you handled it SO well. You went running ahead of your dad and I to get in the gate, and headed straight for the playground! We took you into class and got you settled, and then made a rookie mistake. We hung around for too long! You were fine for the first 20 minutes, and not knowing what to do, we followed other parents cues and waited. What were we waiting for? I guess a push from the teacher to leave. By the time we did leave you were starting to get a bit upset. Thankfully the teacher intervened and we left before I could burst into tears, too. By the time I picked you up you were happy again, and had had a great day! You went to the library, the tuckshop and watched a movie about buckets (???). You said you met new boys but you didn’t remember their names.
This morning, your second morning, you went running in ahead, again headed for the playground. I think your main concern about school is how much playground time you’re going to get! This time I gave you a hug and a kiss outside your room and you walked in all by yourself, not a tear in sight. Either you really are a big boy now, or the promise of ice cream after school helped!
I guess I was nervous for you, because this isn’t just the first week of prep. It’s the first week of a very long school career. Thirteen years, all going to plan! It is more than just going to school. It is a symbol of growing up, of being a boy, not a baby, it’s the first day of 13 years of home work, school excursions, making friends, learning to respect and get along with teachers, learning to love learning…it’s the day you stand on the door step of Education and say, “My name is Nicklas. Teach me!”
There will be hard times – making friends/maintaining friendships, keeping up with work, learning new and challenging subjects. There will be fun times – sports carnivals, field trips, lunch time, projects. There may be times you’ll hate school, but I hope that these are few and far between. You may have to deal with bullies, cool kids, cliques. You may fit in somewhere right away, you may struggle to find your place in the playground hierarchy.
Through it all, your dad and I promise to be present, attentive parents. To support you and encourage you through the highs and the lows of school. To expect only that you do all that you can. As long as you try your hardest, it doesn’t matter what the results are. You are such a kind, funny, caring, cheeky little boy, and I hope that you spread your wings and fly at big school.
As always, I love you with everything I am.