The First Day of the Rest of your (Educational) Life

It’s Wednesday. I woke up with a migraine. Never in my life have a I woken up to a headache that wasn’t a hangover. But of course, this was a hangover, of sorts. A first-days-of-preschool hangover. You woke up as if it was any other day. You seemed so cool, so unaffected by this momentous week; just chowing down on your two chocolate brioches, two bowls of porridge, your banana, and your apple for breakfast like you hadn’t just started the longest journey of your life. But you are cool. You’re the coolest kid I know. You definitely get your coolness from your dad, because I couldn’t be less cool. When I started preschool I cried, wet myself and voluntarily stood in the corner for the entire morning. But not you, my boy. Initially you barked at your key worker, because your current obsession with dogs means that’s what you do now, but after that you held her hand and walked off into the unknown without a worry in your mind. Suddenly you looked so small. You haven’t looked small to me for a long time. Not since your little brother was born. You turned into my big boy when you were still only one year old. I forget that you’re not a big boy. Not at all. It’s just what I tell you to make you feel confident and strong in your new-found independence. But really, you’re so little. You’re so little with your huge backpack almost tipping you backwards and your little footsteps that barely get you anywhere. I know you’re little. But you think you’re as tall as the sky, and that’s all that matters. I would say you are brave, but for now, you have no idea that there’s anything to fear, or anything to worry about. So, I’ll claim that bravery. I have been brave. My bravery led to that unbearable migraine this morning. I didn’t fight off any monsters, or save you from a burning building, but I did let you go.

It took all my courage to let you go.

You’re so little. You’re only two. But you are so ready.

Your world with me is wonderful, but small. I know that you want to make friends, learn new things, go exploring and embark upon imaginative adventures. I’m not quite enough anymore, and that’s how it should be.

We went on holiday with our family this summer, and I barely saw you. From the moment we arrived, to the moment we got in the car to come home, you were with your cousins. I was there, watching over you, but you didn’t see me. You checked in for a hug and a snack every now and then, but mostly, you were off discovering who you are and building forever friendships that will be completely your own. I’m so proud of you.

I’m so proud.

Terrified. Sad. Anxious. Worried. But above all, proud.

I was even a little proud when I had to stay behind to talk to the teachers because you’d been a bit naughty. I was never naughty. I was too afraid to do anything wrong. I’m still too afraid. But not you, my boy. You weren’t afraid to be naughty on your VERY FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!! I was obviously mortified at the same time and was cross with your dad for being the reason you’re a little bit of a tinker, but still a little bit proud.

Every emotion I experienced over those two days did result in a morning migraine, but you made it all better. You stroked my head and gave me your blanket to cuddle. You gave me a magic forehead kiss and said you’d look after your little brother for me, which you did, until you sat on his head, at which point I had to intervene. But the thought was there.

Throughout your life, whenever I must let you go a little more, I’m certain I will get those monstrous, morning migraines, but I will be brave, and I will keep letting you go. Even when you’ve outgrown your blanket, I might just keep a hold of it… just in case I need it on those mornings.

Published by RaisingBoys

I’m Kelly. I’m 34 and I am a primary school teacher (when I’m not mumming). I live in a thin, tall house with my thinnish, quite tall husband and two beautiful boys. I love writing, and am trying to keep it up so I can keep a piece of me.

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