Wednesday was a milestone day in our family life: we registered Heather for starting school in August!
Wanting to be part of this momentous occasion, and with an appointment right in the middle of the day, I decided to work from home – not something I do regularly, and consequently not that straightforward, as it involves updating my ancient work laptop and transferring the files I need to do my job. It also involves sitting on my bed, with said laptop propped on my knees. The sensible place to work would be at the kitchen table, but that puts me right in the line of fire from the Doomington sisters, who wouldn’t understand that Daddy’s working and can’t play.
Anyway, I digress… momentous occasion…
Our appointment was at 1pm, the same time as Heather starts nursery. Fortunately the school is right next door, so after dropping her off we headed into the school, where we were asked to wait while some documents (birth certificate, proof of address) were photocopied. Once that was done (and it took a while, the copier jammed, and the secretary had to use another one) we were ushered into the school dining room, where there were some forms to fill out. Gem did that, while I entertained Megan. I did, however, contribute to the form filling by clarifying a couple of questions with the member of staff sitting on the other side of the room. Go me!
Once the forms were filled in, we handed them back to the aforementioned staff member who checked they were all OK. She gave us some leaflets, explained that filling in the forms isn’t a guarantee that Heather will go to that school, but no-one has been turned down yet so don’t worry. And they used to send letters out to every family, but now you only get a letter if your registration hasn’t been successful, so if we haven’t heard by mid-April then everything is fine. While all this was going on, I continued to entertain Megan who thought it hilarious to flick through the pages of a ring binder on the desk. And even more hilarious when I hissed at her to stop it. Kids, eh?
And that was it. Heather is now officially registered for school. What a crazy thought. How have we got to this point already? Surely she’s too young?
But the truth is she’s not too young. In fact, she needs school, in the same way that she needed nursery just over a year ago. Heather loves to learn (I’ve written before about her wanting to play at schools) and schools are a great place for doing that, some would even say the perfect place! And fully expect her to settle in as well as she did at nursery – it might even be a bit easier, given that she’ll already know some of her classmates.
Of course there is a slight tinge of sadness, at the passing of time, and at the fact that we’re about to close a whole chapter of her life. But it’s far outweighed by the satisfaction that she’s got to this stage, more than capable of moving on. We must be doing something right! And anyway, it’s going to be a far bigger change for Gem than it is for me – her time with Heather is going to be halved, whereas mine will barely change.
Yes, I’m looking forward to her first day of school, waving her off on the next bit of her life’s journey. And I’m sure it will feel like more of an occasion than registering her did. Maybe I was expecting too much?