We’ve done three weeks at school so it’s about time I wrote about it!
At the start of summer, school seemed so far away and then all of a sudden it was the end of August and my baby boy had grown up (in height and spirit) and there I was ironing labels onto copious amounts of uniform!
Toby started school on the Tuesday so I made sure we had one last hurrah at a local theme park on the Monday, it was special and we had lots of fun. When the big day came I made the most of the obligatory first day of school photos as I know this is our first and last opportunity to ‘do’ the first day of school. I took those photos for Toby, for us and for Rory and Henry. It was a bittersweet moment as in the back of my mind I couldn’t help but imagine a one year old Rory in the photo or me stood there with a Henry baby bump but it was just Toby.
Me and the boy walked to school and he said he was scared. I said it was ok to be scared as its new and exciting and that can make us feel scared.
We waited in the playground for the doors to open and joined the hoards of parents and teeny tiny year Rs as we found our way around. Then it was time to leave, Toby wasn’t sure what to do. He’s a boy of routine and the pre-school routine he’d known since January 2015 was gone. Then he started to cry, I ended up leaving him with a teacher and as I turned to leave I started to cry. The headmistress directed me to the parents’ room where someone was waiting to mop my tears and offer a cup of tea (I had sugar for my nerves!). They showed us some film of the children and he was settled with the teacher – all was well. I went home still filled with emotion – my baby wasn’t a baby any more!
As the weeks have passed he has settled and we are finding our routine and rhythm. Toby is enjoying school and has made friends and I love hearing the snippets of what he has been up to – it is like getting blood out of a stone mind you.
What I’ve struggled with (besides the this being the start of a host of first and last milestones for us), are the bumps and babies at the school gates. During the first week I felt surrounded by them and all I could think was – I’ve got 7 years of awkwardness ahead, how on earth will I get through! The icing on the cake was Matt telling me there was a one year old sibling of one of the children called Rory – oh. my. god.! I’ve not seen him yet but at least I’m prepared. There is no escaping the fact that I’ll see the younger children coming through as Toby gets older and I’ll see the children who could have been classmates to my baby boys and it makes me sad. Bittersweet is definitely a word to sum up the start of Toby’s school career.
I am aware that there are friends in the loss community who should have had children starting school this year too and I couldn’t help but think of them too. Whilst I was rejoicing in my big boy going to school they were wondering what the first day of school would be like.
Life is just unfair. But we have to make the most of it and savour every single milestone.
Oh and of course, here is the obligatory first day of school photo!