The Start of a New Chapter

I remember Wednesday, 4th August 2010 like it was yesterday. And no, it’s not a special occasion or birthday in my family. It was the day that I dropped my baby girl to nursery for the very first time, aged 10 months old. It was also the day that I resigned from my career of 12 years. I hadn’t planned to do so when I dropped her at nursery, I hadn’t planned to do so when I arrived at work that day, my second day back from maternity leave. But I did. And I haven’t looked back since.

The following day I vividly remember feeling so, so happy and free. I’d been so sad and upset in the lead up to returning to work. I was determined that this would be the first day of doing all I could for my girl, and if she was missing out on the nursery experience, then I’d have to make it up to her somehow.

So we went to parks, went to playgroups, went to an array of classes, arranged play dates, but most of all, most of all we spent time together. I watched as she grew, she learned, she developed, she flourished. I was there for every single milestone, every single moment. Every scraped knee, every new story told, every new taste tried, every fear quashed, every lesson learned.

So why is it that I feel I’ve missed it? Why do I feel like I’ve wasted time, blinked and missed her growing up? Because tomorrow, my baby will be embarking on her biggest adventure yet, and I won’t be there with her to experience it all and smooth the way. Tomorrow she starts school.

I know that tomorrow everything changes. My constant companion will no longer be here, bouncing around me, singing, chattering away, and yes, oftentimes annoying me! She’ll be learning her lessons from someone else, learning things I have no influence over, making friends with people that I don’t know and just….well, just not being with me.

I yearn to turn the clocks back, yet time moves on inexorably and unapologetically.

And so I have a choice. I can dwell on what I am losing, or I can embrace what I am gaining.

I choose to embrace. I recognise that this is simply the next stage, a stage to enjoy and be proud of her. And I am well aware that I am so very lucky to have her in my life, to have her with me every day and that in the grand scheme of things, a child starting school is no biggy. She is happy, she is healthy, she will be fine, I will adjust.

My girl will grow, she will learn. She will soon be able to read and disappear into wonderful and magical worlds. She will make new friends, and she is a child that really enjoys meeting new people! She will grow away from me, but in doing so, her own personality will shine all the more brightly.

So here’s to tomorrow and the start of a new chapter.

My Boo

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33 thoughts on “The Start of a New Chapter”

  1. Good luck! Our second (of three) is also starting school this month and of course it’s as big a step for us as it is for him. But going by the experience of our first, in many ways it brought him closer to us as suddenly so many new worlds and experiences were opened up to him, experiences that he wanted to share with us and then develop into doing even more new and exciting things. It really was the catalyst for a huge expansion of his little world. Hope all goes well for you.

    1. That’s very reassuring to hear and an exciting thing to look forward to, too. I hope your child gets on well settling in, too, thanks for the comment.

  2. Good luck for tomorrow to you and to Boo. Am sure you will both be fine. Love the way you’ve chosen to embrace such a bittersweet time in such a positive way – from what I’ve read on your blog, I am sure Boo will love school xx

    1. Thanks, Louise. I do hope she does, and I’m pretty sure she will, but I’ll feel much better once she’s started and I know she’s happy πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks, Caroline. I hope so, too, and I do think she’s one of those that will love and do well at school, but we will see! x

    1. Thanks, Mary. I have to think positively, as otherwise, I’m simply sad. I hope Monkey enjoys his first day, too, and that you’re OK x

  3. What a pretty little girl! πŸ™‚ I know exactly how you feel. My little T starts school on Thursday and I feel emotional about it. Part of me wants to hold her back another year (she just turned 4 end of August), but she’s ready for it and wants to go. I guess it’s because she knows all her friends from play-school are going πŸ™

    1. Thank you! My daughter’s one of the older ones, though she’d have probably been fine last year, too. She’s has her first afternoon now, and loved it, as I’m sure little T will, too. Good luck! x

  4. Bless you, Boo will be fine as I know you’ve spent time choosing the right school for her and that is a very comforting thought to hold on to. You’ll miss her, but the holidays are even more special once they start school. And Little Man will adore having you all to himself. Hope the first week goes really well xx

    1. Thanks, Iona. It is a great school for her, and she’s loved her first afternoon there. Little Man will love it, and monopolise fully! Thanks x

  5. Oh Jocelyn, what a lump to my throat! How I read this without bursting into tears of pride, uncertaintly, love, excitement, pure joy while reading this (from the point of view of our bear), I’m really not too sure. Must mean I’m saving all the tears up for when our bear walks into her school and starts making new friends… Hope it all goes well x

  6. Hope it goes well for her and you. It may be more precious as there’ll be so much more to see her achieve and time together will be more precious.

    I’m feeling quite sad that N’s still got another year, I feel like I’m living all the new school starts through my friends.

  7. Ow so well written how we all feel about the transition! Chloe started school yesterday at nearly 3 and totally loved it! She was longng for it for so long. Good luck to boo! Xxx

    1. Thanks, Niki. So pleased Chloe’s loving it, and thank you – she’s very happy with it after her first afternoon! x

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