It’s a very strange irony but as I adjust – quite happily – to the lack of school in my daily life, Sophie is revelling in her first few days of pre-school.
For me, it’s been a real joy to take her along and experience those new times with her. It’s something that would have been simply impossible had I stayed put.
For her, it’s been a wide-eyed adventure into the unknown and one that apparently she is absolutely loving.
Her one hour settle was last week and I attended along with her. She had her pristine new uniform on – of course – although none of the other settling children did for some reason. Fortunately, many of her class had already started so she looked the business as she walked in.
Walking into a working school was weird for me with it being the first time since July. It was also strange to be on the other side of the school gate. Rather than being the teacher in control and aware of everything that was going on (in theory), I was suddenly asking lots of questions and relying on somebody else to keep me in the loop.
Sophie was quite quiet initially. Her teacher said, “I’m sure she’ll warm up once she’s been a few times.”
Let me say, a week on, that no longer seems to be an issue for her!
We played inside and out and I managed to inadvertently kickstart a game for seven pre-schoolers which involved Sophie selling gingerbread men from a plastic Little Tikes house. The many ways to make friends!
It was only for an hour but Sophie’s sadness at leaving hinted that she was very happy – “Why do we have to go Daddy? I want to stay.” When does that love of school slip away? Teenage years…
And so to this week, where she was to be in every day and gradually increase the amount of time she stayed for.
I know when I start my new job or have a new experience the night before is usually unsettled and filled with anxiety or at least the odd concern about how it will go.
How refreshing to see Sophie’s wide-eyed enthusiasm as I tucked her in on Sunday night. “School tomorrow” prompted an excited intake of breath followed by a flurry of things she was looking forward to. Adults can learn a great deal from that.
Now, she’s made a few friends, runs off from us in the playground and is happy to see us go. A little part of you slips away when you see your little girl take such a grown-up step but more importantly, I am so thrilled that she is settled, content and finding her own way in the complicated world of school.
Eighteen years of education (probably at least) stretch out in front of her but for now she’s enjoying simply running around with her fellow three-year-olds.
And so she should.