On your first day of school…


To my biggest boy,

When you were born a little over four years ago you were bang on the 50th centile in both height and weight. I used to joke you were Mr. Average which would raise a few glances because no one wants to be average do they? Well I don’t know, it’s always suited me rather well.

And now here we are, about 10 seconds later, and you are starting school. Being just a few weeks past your 4th birthday you will perhaps become Mr. Below Average in many ways. A little smaller, a little sillier, a little less able to get your wee in the toilet bowl. It might take you a little longer to do things, you might not always understand.

Please remember that none of that stuff matters. Don’t ever let it. We have no aspirations for you other than to make friends and be happy. Everything else that is good in life is just a by-product of those things.

And so today was the day that we dropped you off, for all of 2 and 3/4 hours but it still felt like a huge deal. I never used to think it would be (free childcare right?), I always used to wonder why parents would cry at the school gates but now I get it. A heart that’s so full of pride, love and excitement feels pretty much like one that’s been broken in two.

I cried for the fact that you are moving into a world that we will soon become a much smaller part of and I cried for the fact that all the cutsey things you do, like giving your friends full face kisses, will soon become totally uncool. I cried for the fact that your lovely confidence might soon be shaken, for all the mean things that will undoubtedly be said, for the fact that the tumble dry function seems to have malfunctioned on the washer/dryer, oh no sorry that ones totally unrelated – but still!

But those are my own thoughts and worries and just as I hoped you don’t seem to share them. We took you asking us ‘Why are you still here?’ as a hint to leave.

You look proper dapper in your uniform you know. Sort of very grown up and very little all at once. Seeing you like that marked the end of an era. I may have publicly whinged and protested about being a largely stay at home mum but I do also feel very lucky to have had all that precious time with you. You drive me insane my strong willed boy, but I will miss you so much.

Above all though we are just very excited for you, did you know that school is epic? The girls I met on my first day, some 30 years ago, are still right here with me today and I sincerely hope you make those bonds too.

So best of luck Mr. Average, although I know you won’t really need it. You’ll never be just average to the people who love you.




P.S. I have a new book OUT NOW! You can nab it on Amazon here or in your lovely local bookshop :)


30 thoughts on “On your first day of school…

  1. Dean of Little Steps

    Well done little F! :) As you know, little T has been going since last Thursday and she and another girl have been crying their poor little eyes out. But I’m happy and proud to announce, that today little T didn’t shed a single tear ;) Yay, we’re getting there.

    Little F will be a heartbreaker, if not already! ;)

  2. Emma

    Brought a little tear to my eye, Katie- your first baby away and my last, babe. He sounds like a brilliant wee man and I’m sure he ‘ll be just grand xx

  3. Steph @ Sisterhood (and all that)

    *sobs* so all this starting school thing hasn’t bothered me…until now! Lovely piece, we have one more year of innocence. Buster likes to yell ‘I LOVE YOOOOUUU’ from the gate at nursery, and it makes me snigger and roll my eyes at the other mums, but one day – especially when he’s a smelly hulking teenager – I will be desperate to see that eager little face shouting his love for me. *sobs* (That aside – woohoo to some time for YOU) x

    1. Katie Post author

      I god I know – the grass is always greener huh, and you doth know what you got till it’s gone – all the cliches ;) it is exciting though at the same time! X

  4. Tim

    Love the smile on his face! It can be tricky at first being among the youngest in a year – the age difference is so pronounced at this age! – but as long as he’s enjoying it, that’s the main thing. Everything else will sort itself out later.

  5. Life at the Little Wood

    Oh Katie!! This is gorgeous, just beautifully written, and very much the same way I have been feeling these past two weeks. Sending hugs to you. Your little man is very handsome in his new uniform! :) xx

  6. Rach

    I felt exactly the same – so much of their lives will be school now, and I hadn’t realised how much it meant to have his whole world created by us. H drives me insane too, but I have missed him this week. Not a peep from him, though – he loves it! I’m sure F will have an absolute whale of a time :-) Xx

  7. Donna

    Oh Katie this post made me cry like a baby.
    Today we took LP to preschool for the first time and I didn’t really let it effect me, it didn’t seem like such a big deal – it’s just ‘playgroup’ as we used to call it and it’s only an hour and a half a day for the next two weeks. She doesn’t even have a uniform or a jumper.
    But your post made me realise that this time next year my little tiny LP will be at SCHOOL. Actual school. In a tiny uniform that makes her look grown up and tiny all at once. I will worry about the mean kids and I will hang on to those full face kisses and the cute things she says and I will hope that she stays completely uncool for just a tad longer.
    Oh this post! xx

  8. Rebecca

    That sums up exactly how I feel, my (only) daughter started school this week. After dropping her off on the first day my house seemed so empty and quiet.

    Hope his first day went well :)

  9. Jess @ Along Came Cherry

    This is so lovely. Cherry doesn’t start until next year but I’m already feeling a bit emotional about it, it seems like they have got to this stage so unbelievably quickly. I hope it all went well and love that you can still make me laugh even in an emotional post! x

  10. Nell@PigeonPairandMe.com

    Aww this is such a big step, and I’m right there with you! I underestimated how much Austin starting school would affect me. I was mainly thinking about how much more time I’ll have, but I’ve REALLY been missing him. He seems to be settling in well, but it’s the end of a beautiful part of my life….

  11. Life With Munchers

    Awwww, what a cutie! It’s a rough time as a parent, but great to see them growing up all the same. I wonder what he’ll be when he grows up. I guess as long as he doesn’t want to take after Pat, all is well! x

  12. older mum in a muddle

    Such a lovely post… Little A began Reception too the other week, and so far she is really enjoying it. That first day was hard though, mainly for me. ‘We have no aspirations for you other than to make friends and be happy-‘ couldn’t have put that better myself! X

  13. Leila Boukarim

    You’re son is adorable in that picture. Nothing about him looks average. Sending them off to school is tough, when you never imagined it would be. I broke down and cried on the kitchen floor for about 5 hours the night before the first day of school. I wasn’t ready for him to grow up. He was leaving me, leaving the house, going off on his own in the world, with people I didn’t know, eating food I didn’t prepare, listening to stories I wasn’t telling… It really was heartbreaking. And it was also wonderful!

    This is one of the sweetest posts I’ve ever read.

  14. Jude

    Can’t believe I’ve only plucked up the courage to read this post now. Had a feeling it would be a tear jerker so tried to save it till I felt strong enough. Oops. Epic fail. I am sobbing. I feel every one of these sentiments, and some of my own too. This starting school business is a bittersweet sob-a-thon. Now pass the wine and tissues. x


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