My wish for you {on your first day of school} | IBOT

Today is the day. It's been 5 years, 2 months, 1 week and 5 days in the making. At times it felt like it would never happen. At other times, like today, it feels like just the blink of an eye. Sometimes even less than that. Like one minute I was looking down at your tiny little head as you suckled at my breast, and then I looked up and there you were, dressed in your new uniform and your shiny black shoes, scared but excited to begin this next chapter of your life.

Today you start school for the very first time.

I have tears in my eyes as I type this. There's a lump in my throat the size of Mount Kosciuszko and I'm equal parts terrified, excited, and proud beyond words. You've gone from this tiny, gooey, scrunched up baby they placed in my arms 5 years ago, to this stunning, clever, graceful, cheeky, beautiful-beyond-words little girl standing before me, all ready to head out the door and in to your new life.

It's the end of an era for both of us.

I know you're nervous. You've told me almost every day since we first started going to the transition playgroup. I know you're scared of meeting all the new people, of how many kids there will be on the playground, anxious that you won't know what to do, worried that you won't know anyone, and wondering if the other kids will like you. I know how you feel because I've felt that way before too. So many times. And it's ok. New things are scary, but I love the fact you feel safe enough to confide these fears in me, even if there's not much I can do to take them away.

I can't promise that you'll love it. I can't promise that you'll make friends straight away. I can't promise that you won't miss me, or your Daddy, or even your little sister. But I can promise that when that last bell rings at 3 o'clock this afternoon, and every afternoon thereafter, I'll be standing at that gate, ready to scoop you up with a big hug and hear all about your day.

Even after I became a Mum I never quite understood those mothers who got all teary and emotional when their babies went off to school. It seemed like such a distant thing. I thought that after 5 years of having you at home I'd be more than ready to send you off to school (not that there haven't been days when I wished I could ship you off to school!). But I get it now.

Sending you off to school is like having the umbilical cord between us cut all over again. When they cut that first, physical umbilical cord, I was scared about the fact that I could no longer keep you safe inside me. That I couldn't physically protect you from all the harm this world has to inflict. How on earth could I protect you as well on the outside as I was able to when you were inside?

Today, the metaphorical umbilical cord between us will be cut. No more will I be able to keep you safe and protected in the walls of our home. No longer will I be the only person who has influence over you. There will be teachers and students that will have just as big an impact on your life as I have been up till now. And that scares me. When I think about all of the things you'll start to see and hear as you spend so much time amongst your peers my heart skips a beat. What if you come home with a Shopkins obsession? I don't think I could afford it!

In the end the only thing I can do is hope and pray that in these last 5 years at home I've somehow sufficiently prepared you enough to go out and conquer this big wide world and make it your own. I hope that you know in your heart I will always be here for you, and that you can always confide your biggest fears, hopes and dreams in me.

As you head off to your first day of school my wish for you is that you'll be happy. I'm so proud of you and how you've handled such a big transition, the way you've been open and honest about your fears and how we've worked together to come up with little strategies to make this big step a little easier.

I love you my baby girl and I hope you have a fabulous first day!

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