First days back and the oomph kicks in.
There he goes, walking back into school with a nervous glance over his shoulder but a warm welcome from his friends who pull him straight back into the huddle in their new line ready to work with their new teacher in their new year. First day of a lot of new things.
It’ll be okay won’t it? Parents give almost masked but clearly there emotional ‘see you after school’ goodbyes. Parents who have known each other for many years not knowing whether they can hug the basic compassionate support we previously would have given each other as a lot more looms over us this new academic year.
It feels a bit strange this time round; lock down, months of my youngest being at home and then part time return and then the hit of the summer holidays and now he goes back.
Is that empty nest feeling normal for the first few days?
I always have mixed emotions on school returns after the summer holidays and this year is no different maybe a little more.
He has such a safe school environment where he is treated as an individual and respected and I have always loved this school for that. This year he enters year 6 meaning it’s his last year before high school starts.
Am I ready for that transition? Is he?
Can I keep him small? Ignore all the stress of exams and play ground and class room dynamics and relationships to navigate? Skip this part of ‘growing’ into himself and place him safely in the arms of lived experience, knowledge and self-learnt wisdom? without the bit in between? Didn’t think so.
As I walk back to my car I wonder when his first set of homework will come where I have to YouTube the answers first. Or start to stress about running out of ideas of what will fill his lunch box and deal with the tightest of tight morning schedules finding every lost item he needs when we all saw it the night before.
There is something endearing about these generational school experiences and morning stress performances; I love it because I know it isn’t long now before there will be a change. I’m not so big on change either but I know this.
I’m and adult who needs to transition too and sometimes I forget that as I take care of other people’s transitions.
So for whilst it lasts with a great school, a settled boy, a safe place and a moment where I don’t have to worry too much; I can take breath before the big looming change starts.
For all of those who have returned, are returning and are still waiting for day one; I wish you all the best and a really successful transition back.
First days are hard and it’s okay to recognise that. Big love to you all.