We drop off your big brother at junior school and that’s where you usually find a friend or two. Or three. Then off you go – you are incapable of simply walking when you are all together. Instead you break into a trot as you chat, and then usually a run; weaving in and out of all the other mums, dads, grandparents and children who are on their way to school. Down the hill you go – unconcerned about how far I am behind you…… or actually whether I am still there at all.
You sprint up onto the school playground and join the other boys for a quick kick-about before the bell rings. It doesn’t matter if all that is out is a flat football, or an over-sized beach ball; or, in fact, if there is no ball at all because you will quite happily just kick a stick around instead. When it is time to go in your book-bag is slung into your drawer and you are there at your table.
You are completely comfortable, you know how this all works now. This is your home-patch, your routine, your everyday. You have found your place here – you are confident, happy and full of chatter.
And now it is time to move on. The end of infant school, and off to Juniors in September.
Three years ago you started your school journey, and it felt like the biggest milestone of them all. You were the youngest in your class and still working on how to hold a pencil properly. For months it felt like certain things would never click – you would sound out P-I-G but still read out COW, and getting you to write anything at all was an uphill battle. Assemblies were, especially for you Twin 1, more than a little traumatic. You would shuffle up to the front and mumble your line, looking like this was the most terrifying moment of your little life so far. And now, well you are still not quite in your comfort zone in a performance situation, but your end of term show had you excited about singing and dancing in a monkey costume; and looking only marginally embarrassed when the time came.
I know that I will always look back on these infant school days as the happiest of times – little hands that still want to hold mine, arms that still want a big cuddle as we say goodbye, and the unbridled joy as your little legs come sprinting out of the classroom at the end of the day. Friendships are uncomplicated; learning is, largely, a joy; and the best class reward imaginable is your teacher bringing in her puppy for the afternoon. There have been discos, movie nights, theatre trips, dance workshops, summer fayres, country dancing, visits from Santa, and innumberable other memories and experiences; quite aside from the fact that you have also learned to read, write and do sums.
It is difficult to express how much love I have for this little school. For the teachers and TAs who have taken your hands and brought you to this point. For the school cook who listens to you recite poems and update her on the latest football news before giving you bonus meatballs. For the office staff who are used to me running back and forth with forgotten reply slips and water bottles and a hundred questions about what I might have missed that week.
These have been truly special times and have given you the very best start to school. And now new challenges await…..the first of which will be getting to grips with a school tie.