First day nerves - for me anyway!

I don't do social media - I piggyback my husband's profile when I want to keep up to date with friends and family - but I have been busy scrolling up and down more than ever for this past week for one reason, which I am sure you can guess writes Peterborough mother of two Donna Steele.

Sunday, 17th September 2017, 1:00 pm
First day at school

Slowly but surely Reception classes across the city have been opening their doors to their latest pupils ... and proud mums and dads have been quick to share the news.

Well, it is not just news is it? Facebook has gone into virtual meltdown with those “first day” photos - and I love it.

Seeing all those photos has certainly been special.

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For the past four years I have watched not just my own little one grow up, but others that we have shared milestones with at playgroups and pre-school.

And this has been the most significant so far... by miles, so it has been great, well quite a privilege, seeing them just as they have left their homes on the first rung of their educational ladder, and sharing that moment with their parents who have become friends.

So much so, that yesterday I joined the fray with photos of my own four year-old daughter all kitted out in her new uniform - she went for a grey dress and cardigan - for friends and family, near and far, to view.

I am biased of course but she looked absolutely adorable, my heart melted. Well, they have all looked adorable, haven’t they?

I know it will have been the same for parents everywhere, but it has been an emotional time preparing for the Big Day.

A mixture of excitement, fear of the unknown, endless worries about everything being just right. Had we forgotten anything? There was the odd mild panic - and that was just me!

A trial run of the journey to school - a 20-minute walk which my husband said would be 15 (on the day it was 17) and “fashion shows” as she tried on each and every part of the uniform all formed part of the build up. And helped - I think.

In the end I needn’t have worried - isn’t that always the way - and everything went smoothly... even Storm Aileen couldn’t knock us off our stride, it just meant a change to a winter coat.

Out of bed on time, fed, washed, dressed and ready to go with a little relaxation on the sofa thrown in for good measure.

Then it was the now obligatory photos - all smiles - and she told us she was ready to go to start a new chapter in her life.

I think the walk actually helped, although my brave little soldier was very calm about everything. I know she is a smart, intelligent little girl.... but you never really know do you?

There were lots of children and their parents walking and cycling the same way which proved a distraction - as did the thousands of conkers lining the footpaths courtesy of Aileen!

There was a real feeling of anticipation as the queue outside the school gates grew - mums, dads, siblings, grans and grandads, you name it, all there for the momentus occasion.

And then the door opened, at which point my heart fluttered even if she seemed to take it in her stride.

I was so proud (more tears in the eyes) as she confidently walked in, hung up her coat and bags in the busy cloakroom and walked into the classroom.

She had a good look around, joined in the chat and the activities which had already started and within minutes told us it was ok to go.

And that was that - apart from the six hours of clockwatching until it was time to pick her up for the first time... a journey I expect I will be making for the next six years.

In the midst of all this, one thing did occur to me. What did we do on the “first day” before Facebook?