To my big-small-girl

Tiny grown-up girl, wrapped up in swathes of burgundy, you smile out, from deep inside. Oblivious to the over-size, just happy to finally be there. It’s a hand-me-down from your big sister, but you don’t mind. You’ve waited two long years to follow in her foot-steps; to follow in her uniform. Your smile – your face, your excitement – when I said “let’s try it on” – the slight shake as you picked up the skirt, and asked “Really? Do I really get to wear this now?”

Everything – socks, shoes, bag on back. Then a photo-shoot, your camera smile perfected. Pride from every pore. No nerves, no worries, no fear.

Two years ago, as we counted down to our very first first-day, I worried quietly. And your sister worried – not so quietly. Excited but anxious in equal measure. She put on a brave face that first morning, and so did I. We brought her to her class-room, and found her seat – her name already in place. Then following the strict instructions we’d all been given, I stoically held back my tears, until I had walked back out of the class-room. I cried because I was anxious for her – afraid she’d be lonely or lost; certain she’d be unsure and shy.

But with you, I have no such fears – maybe because we’ve done it all before. Or maybe because you’ve had two years of pre-school, with two different classes, and taken it all in your skipping stride. Maybe it’s because you’re a different little girl – quicker to join, less afraid, not shy.

And maybe I’m wrong – maybe I will worry about leaving you in your class-room, but right now, I don’t think so. Right now, I’m selfish – all I can think about is me. How will I manage without you? How have five years passed so quickly? Who will chat to me on the way home from the school-run? Who will help me in the shops? Who will ask me wise questions? Who will give me smart answers?

In time, your little brother will surely fill that void, but now, all I can think is “it’s over”. It will never be you again – this time we’ve had is gone forever. You’re excitedly rushing into the school-system, blissfully unaware that that’s it – you’re there for the next fifteen years; there’s no going back.

There’s never any going back, and that’s why I’ll have a quiet cry – maybe not in the corridor outside the class-room, maybe not even on the day you start. Maybe right now as I look at you dancing and smiling in your not-new uniform. But quietly, around the corner.

Office Mum: school  photo

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To see how the first day will probably go in our house, with my anxious first-classer and my excited junior-infant, you might like to read this article I wrote for eumom: Two little-school-girls

 

 

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14 thoughts on “To my big-small-girl”

  1. My ‘baby’ is starting school next week, I can relate to what you say here… he is in a rush, I am not. I’ll miss his constant chatter, the house will be extra quiet… but I think he will be happy so I have to pretend that I am too.

    Good luck, sound like you might be the one who needs it! I think I know how you feel
    Naomi Lavelle recently posted…Silent snaps – making lavender wandsMy Profile

    1. We are all the same – we’ll all be brave and pretend that we’re happy 🙂 It’s lovely to see how excited they are – it would be infectious if it wasn’t tinged with sadness. But we’ll be brave!

  2. Oh darn you – you’ve got me blubbing!! A beautiful post – your wee lady will love reading this when she’s older x

    1. Oh goodness you’ve just set me off 🙂
      They will all be brilliant, and we’ll all be fine too – they might just adapt more quickly than we do. Best of luck for next week!

    1. Maybe that’s the key – once we see they’re happy, we chill out ourselves. I hope so. PS I love the photo you posted of Mabel!

    1. It is bittersweet isn’t it – I’m so happy that she’s excited about going, but so sad to see how quickly time has slipped by! Thank you for the lovely comment

  3. Aww you have me all weepy now, I have one more year of Ella in playschool, she’ll be starting 5 days this year and then that will be it!! And like your little one she can’t wait to be with her big sister in big school, it goes by too quickly!!
    Sara recently posted…How do you let it go?My Profile

  4. This is a lovely post and I had a little lump in my throat reading it! I will definitely be shedding many a tear when L gets to these stages of his life. I hope your big small girl has a great first and happy school life ahead of her 🙂

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