Monday, January 30, 2012

First Day Nerves

I've felt all a bit chokey and achey today. First day nerves, perhaps. After six weeks of settling into our new house and enjoying long stretches of days exploring our surroundings and just hanging out here at home, all of it feeling like a glorious long holiday, today feels like the first day of real life. It was Lola's first day at her new preschool. 

It was a good break, those six weeks, and my girl was good to be around. It was the longest stretch of holidays for her since she began preschool/day care two years ago, and we really fell into a nice rhythm, to the point where I wondered if we really needed to send her off again.

But she was excited. Excited to be meeting new kids and making friends her own age in this new place. Little sisters are fun, but only so far... She was worried that she might cry when I left her there, but she didn't. She clung to me at first, explaining, "I'm just a little bit shy, that's all." But the truth is, she's not. She's the most outgoing, sociable, friendly kid I know. 

A year ago, we thought Lola would be going off to school this year. She's a July baby, her birthday only a few weeks before the cut-off. It was a big decision for us to make, perhaps the biggest so far, and I've often wished someone could've just told us the 'right' thing to do. Several of her friends who are the same age start 'big school' this week, but we made the choice, in the end, to take another year. A lot of it was about giving her whatever advantage might come about by not being the youngest in her class (even at five and a half, she won't be the oldest). A large part was to give us a year, as a family, to settle into this new lifestyle without having to worry about school routines just yet. But the biggest part, for me at least, was wanting to hang onto her for a bit longer. I loved school, back in the day, and I know she will too. But they'll have her for 13 years. I'm keeping her for one more!

Of course, however firm my convictions, I'm still left with niggles and doubts. There are kids in her new preschool who are much younger. When I went to collect her today, they were all sitting in a circle singing a song and taking turns galloping around. It kind of looked like baby stuff. I imagined her in a little school uniform sitting up at a desk learning to form her letters on the page, and wondered, just briefly, if that might have been the right choice...

Big sigh. There's no harm in another year of singing and galloping. Is there?

I picked her up early today, just in case. I needn't have bothered. Her teachers assured   me that she'd had a wonderful time. When she got home, she raced into the GM's arms and said, "Daddy, I had a lovely day."

And I'm under strict instructions NOT to be early for pick-up on Thursday.


  1. It is a hard decision to make and it would be nice sometimes if someone would tell us what the right thing is to do but I think in the end you've made the right choice for you and your little girl. You sound like you've thought about what is best for all of you and that's all you can do. Having them home another year is so precious because when they go to school they will be there for a long time and it sounds like Lola loves her new preschool which really matters. I still miss my girls when they go to school and my oldest is in year 8 this year:( I secretly wish they were still at home and little;) x

  2. Wise words from a wise woman, and this wise woman did the same as you and held her little Man back - so they can be old together ( if you ever move up here.....)

  3. That's awesome - follow your gut instinct my love. Lola will be amazing no matter what - she's smart, resilient and funny - just like you! We will keep Leo back too.

  4. It never gets easier to send them out into the world, does it? I'm really new at it still, but I keep hoping I'll get better. Glad the first day was fun though!

  5. Hang on to her while you can! My eldest is one of the youngest in her year, and I see a huge difference between her and the older ones, I wish I could have kept her back!
    Glad Lola's having a wonderful time there, who doesn't want to gallop at 4? x

  6. She is a doll. I know it's a big decision, but there is no harm in giving children time or in galloping. :) I have spoken to a couple of "cut-off date children" who are now adults. They both wished they had some extra time because they usually felt behind their "older" peers. I think Lola will be very happy. Hugs to you mama.

  7. It's a decision you won't regret. Good job mom!

  8. Hello there, have just across your blog. Your beautiful photos are like a warm ray of sunshine. And we too are going through first day of preschool this week. For my boys, my gut tells me to stretch out their tiny teeny years as much as possible. My childhood was far too short and I wish I had longer to just play and have fun. Listen to what your heart says. (Btw, it looks like I'm your 50th follower!)


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