I’m sitting on my my sofa, working on the laptop as the evening sun streams into the living room window. Along the hall, in the kitchen, I can hear my four-year-old and Mr P. They’re making thank you cards to give to her nursery key worker and the rest of the team, tomorrow.
She’s starting primary school next week. Next week! How did that happen? I’m fairly sure it was just the other day, she was two and toddling along pushing a doll’s buggy that was nearly as big as her. A year ago, I wrote a post about not feeling ready to have a child start school. I’m over that. The four-year-old is totally ready, and therefore so am I. She is counting down the days to starting and thankfully, there doesn’t seem to be an ounce of nerves.
But what has surprised me is that it’s not the new beginnings that have shaken me, it’s the goodbyes.
I can hear her asking Mr P to write the sentence on some scrap paper, so that she can copy the letters and write the message on the card herself. “Thank you for looking after me” she is saying.
She’s been at that nursery since she was nine months old.
The nursery which saved my sanity by allowing me to pop her in for one day a week at that age, two months ahead of her official starting date.
The nursery which didn’t mind when I called up during her settling in sessions, to check how she was, while I sat in a cafe feeling physically sick that my baby was being looked after by “strangers”.
The nursery that changed her nappy hundreds of times, gave her milk, gave her cuddles.
The nursery which could get her to nap every afternoon long after she’d stopped napping at home (how did they do it? Apparently they have some back rubbing technique that sends them all off….)
The nursery which could get her to eat all sorts for lunch, like chicken korma and jambalaya, when all she’d eat at home was rice cakes and sausages.
The nursery where she’s learned to share – toys, books, even friends.
The nursery where she’s not just learned phonics and how to count to 110 but also the words to One Direction songs. Valuable, I’m sure you’ll agree.
The nursery which hasn’t just looked after her, as she has written in the card, but which has helped to shape her into the bright, happy school starter that she is.
I feel sad to be saying goodbye to her nursery. I’ve read countless articles and blog posts about coping with your child starting school, but what about coping with the goodbyes?
This is exactly how I’ve felt. When I picked Francesca up from her last day of preschool I had a mega wobbly lip and later on that evening I properly burst in to tears. Georgiana will be still be there for 2 more years but the idea that the relationship Fran has with the preschool staff (and I had through her) have ended now is incredibly sad. I keep trying to think of it positively though, how lucky we are to of found places that care for our girls so much x
This made me emotional, then I read rice cakes and sausages and laughed, as that is pretty much all Baby eats 🙂 It must be so difficult to say these goodbyes to people that have looked after your pride and joy for so long. Big hugs x
oh I’m so rubbish at goodbyes…I cried when S left nursery and so did her key worker! Good luck for school…..can’t wait to hear all about it x
I am so sad about Mads saying goodbye to nursery but luckily I don’t have to say goodbye to them just yet as I have LL- I know I will feel an emotional wreck when I do. I feel sad enough Mads having to say goodbye to them. She only has one session left. 🙁 xx
Goodbyes are hard. I can only imagine what it’s like when you’re the one leaving/ moving on- Today is one of Bear’s key workers last days, & not only has she been in an emotional state, but i feel a bit weepy too. These ‘stranger’ whom we entrust our most valuable worldly creations, become so much more than simply a carer, don’t they? If you’re lucky enough like us to find those who are passionate, they become an extension of our own family. 🙂 xx
I totally remember feeling like this, cried over nursery staff and completely went to bits over child minder, those are really special relationships. I remember writing about it at the time, and wondering irrationally if he’d go to school and stop wanting to hold my hand. It is saying goodbye to so much.
Awwww, what a lovely post. I find the goodbyes hard too. I cried buckets when my daughter finished at her private nursery and I also cried buckets on her last day of preschool and her last day at reception (almost as much as her first day!). She has had the most amazing teacher and even though the teacher will still be in the school, I hated saying goodbye to her. It’s an odd feeling of mourning each passing stage, being anxious about the next, but being so proud of them for everything they achieve. It sure is emotional being a mummy! x
I’m really struggling with the knowledge that T’s last day is tomorrow (well, TODAY!) and then school next week, so it’s reassuring to know that I’m not alone and that it’s ok to be sad about this. Thank you for writing this.