Wednesday, 17 June 2009

School's in for Summer

Scary, very scary.

In September a significant new chapter will open for my son, and me I suppose, when he embarks off on his formal education journey.

I was delighted, and a little overwhelmed, to get his official acceptance letter into the village school. I was always assured that it was a forgone conclusion, with our proximity to the school, but was still relieved to finally get that stance ratified.

It was right at the end of March, which was actually 12 weeks ago; proof itself that time with him seems to be flying. Well I suppose it will when you are having this much fun.

The postman arrived, and I was actually already outside – not waiting for him, but doing something around the garden – but I knew straight away what the letter he had just handed me should confirm.

I perched at the entrance of my home, opening this correspondence, and then quickly reflecting on a big part of ‘the plan’ becoming reality.

Sat at the doorway to the property we had self-built, a building I had also fathered, on a beautiful sunny morning, with written confirmation of a village school place, was a nice little, yet huge, moment.

And bang.

Also a huge does of a plan becoming a reality.

Or an imminently dawning one anyway.

Then came communication from the school about inductions, emergency contact forms, meetings, then last week, a uniform order form.

Today was the first of his familiarisation sessions, and I joined him at the end of it, for a school lunch.

It all seems to be happening at a break neck pace.

Max was brilliant this morning. Confidently, but not cockily, making his way into the classroom corridor, when most around him were floundering and doing their best limpet impressions.

I was warmed by this, but surprisingly unemotional, I did think of Samantha, his mother, and how I would have loved to have shared this vision with her, but even that did not override my general feeling of being proud.

That will change I am sure, when he gets all suited and booted, and trots off for his first day at school for real.

He knew I was coming for dinner with him, and he greeted me with one of his trademark smiles.

“Sit here dad.”

We got invited up to the dinner dispensing trolley thing, and were asked to choose between haddock bites and cottage pie. Both of us plumping for the latter.

There was a bit of a false start as the dinner lady kept calling him a girl, something that does happen a bit, but I did not correct her, I left the boy to do that.

Lunch was perfectly edible, I demolished mine, and Max made great work of his, his fruit and juice too.

His teacher then walked us through the cleaning up process, and took my son off to collect his hoody.

She explained that the photos they had taken today, would be over the pegs next week, so the children would know which was theirs, and thus, wear to put their outside clothes.

Max informed her which peg he would like, one near the door not surprisingly, and again I was happy to see he had not only understood, but that he had already made his mind up about it.

No messing about.

I did not ask him a lot about what he had got up to, as I do not want to bombard him with school based queries, and add to any pressure he may be feeling.

He did mumble something about what they had done, and it was clear he had enjoyed the morning.

So he trotted off for an afternoon back at nursery, and I trotted off home to write this.

And, to order his uniform.

In other news, with Father’s Day looming, I was asked to contribute to The Times’ Alpha Mummy blog, you can see the result here.



Laura - Are We Nearly There Yet Mummy? said...

Confidence in buckets!
Samantha would have been proud I'm sure.
My boy confidently started pre-school last year and this year will start nursery at the school.
My daughter was more of a limpet and still is sometimes.
I can't wait to see the uniform pics!

Thumbelina said...

It is an emotionally mixed time at the best of times. My boy goes to high school in September and it is strange feeling those emotions all over again.
I have immense pride, but there is that loss of the little boy. I won't have that time back but I look forward to the new times and the new "age." So enjoy the transition. And the uniform buying!

Max will be fine as you saw. Bucket loads of confidence. It is us that are more nervous than they are. Just one thing I would say (if you don't mind) -
DO ask him about his day. It doesn't pressurise him as you would not bombard him. But ask him what he did and tell him you're interested because he is important to you - that bit is true. I never regretted asking mine. As they got older I would get "dunno"s but they always knew I asked, I was interested.
Just a thought.

Great post, as always.

Dan said...

I burst into tears the week before Amy was due to start school. There was no warning of it, I just happened to glace at the calender and say the day highlighted on it then started to weep.

Bloody big wet lettuice I am.

SandyCalico said...

I get a bit teary thinking of the day my boys go to school, that's in September 2012!
Well done Max x

Eleanor said...

I am seated here reading this while tonight I watch my eldest graduate from Middle School.(I should be readying myself now shouldn't I?) It is an odd feeling,this transition from little boy to young man. The time has gone by all too quickly...

Matt Stevens said...

you're a legend. Keep it up, you encourage me to be a better father.

Kevin Spencer said...

Ok, that photo you used looks *scarily* like the school uniform I had to wear. (shudders)

Not a soccer mom said...

Big steps, school.
All the other mothers and children cried the first day... I was a bit relieved. And my children couldnt leave me fast enough.

Kat said...

M&S and ASDA are great places to find uniforms. Also Tesco has a few, but I have found their selection really limited. I don't know if your school requires the children to wear jumpers with the school logo on them, but they are expensive! £8.50 for one jumper!

SciFi Dad said...

So are all schools in the UK uniformed? Does he have a jacket and tie for all days, or just some?

This pre-school thing is freaky shit.

Penelope said...

OH bless that boy! He is totally ready for Big School!
I did just realise that while you are buying your son's first uniform for September - I'm buying my son's LAST uniform for September as he goes into year 11. Holy crap!

clareybabble said...

We're going through the same with my son. I think I am more scared of him going than he is!!

Jo Beaufoix said...

Don't know how I missed this but we will have to swap uniform pics. M looks so cute and diddy and proud. SHe has a full day in school next Friday. I was so excited then thought, oh my Bob my baby is growing up.

I'm sure Samantha would be so proud of you both. You're doing an amazing job gorgeous.

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