In just a few, short weeks, Tink finally starts school! We fought hard to get her a place at a school we were totally happy with and the time for her to go there – all day, every day – is almost here. We have the uniform, the backpack, the book bag and, today, the school shoes. She’s all set, and pretty excited!
But, whilst we’re overjoyed that she’s got a shot at a good education in a place that can (we hope!) meet her needs, I can’t help feeling like I’m on the edge of a cliff about to jump off.
I am about to entrust my beautiful, darling girl to virtual strangers.
There are so many ‘what if’s running through my mind:
What if she can’t communicate her needs?
What if they don’t understand her?
What if she doesn’t eat?
Or tell them she needs the toilet?
Or that she feels unwell or that something is amiss?
What if she’s being picked on or treated unkindly?
What if she feels afraid?
And then, there’s the issue of transport. Unlike H’s first day, where Daddy, Tink and I all went to see him safely into the playground, Tink’s first day will be entirely different.
Instead of proudly watching my smart girl, all dressed up in her uniform, go into the playground with her friends, I will, instead, be waving her off from home. I have to put my child, my baby, onto a minibus with complete strangers and watch as they drive away on the 14 mile journey (or more, depending where on the pickup route we are) to school.
That is going to be the longest morning of my life! What if she panics? Screams? Lashes out in fear or tries to get off?! I want to know that she’s arrived safely and happily. Then she has to do it all again in reverse at hometime. I will not be waiting at the school gates to see her run out, full of first-day excitement. I will again be waiting by the front window for the bus to appear and, only then, will I breathe.
But Tink will know nothing of my worries and ‘what if’s. She’s excited, and that’s how I want it to stay until that first morning, when the bus will turn up and my precious girl will bounce on, ready for her new adventure!