Dear Little One,
This moment has been a long time coming, longer than you’ll know. Us grown ups have been preparing for this moment since we first met you, maybe even before. You look too small as you step through the gates for the first time. You don’t look ready. The other children around you seem enormous. Not to mention boisterous and loud and altogether too scary. Your uniform is ironed to perfection (for the first term anyway) and your hair is just so. You look nervous. You are excited. It is a confusing set of emotions for someone so small to process. Stepping across the threshold of those school gates feels like leaping across a grand chasm. On one side you’re a baby, on the other, a school kid. Part of the world, independent of us. We feel it too, little one. We feel it too. We hold your hand that little bit tighter. Not wanting to let you go, never wanting to hold you back. On you will go, meeting new faces and learning new secrets. You’ll pick up new habits, some good, some not-so good. You’ll have fun and laugh and learn and I’m sure there’ll be a few wobbles. We are wobbling too, from the side lines. It’s hard to watch you go. It’s fantastic to see you return; the stories of your day will make our hearts burst with pride and love. Know that while you are gone, we are counting down the hours. Know that we miss you. Believe that we are so proud of you. Your bravery and how you face this next chapter – change is scary – is inspiring. You may be little but boy are you mighty. You may be shaky going in. You may skip with excitement. Either way, we are proud of you. A whole world is about to open up for you. A world of friendships and discovery, movement and wonder. You will learn to listen and follow the rules. You will discover that sometimes other children are unkind, but don’t be one of them yourself. You don’t have to be the smartest in class, you won’t always understand or get things right. That’s ok. You don’t have to be fast or good at sport and not everyone is an artist. But you must be kind. Kindness is non-negotiable and manners cost nothing. So be polite and make sure you treat your friends the way you want to be treated, but don’t be too frightened to say no when you are uncomfortable. And don’t be scared to speak out when you see something wrong. You have to make your own judgements now. The decisions are yours. You are responsible for your behaviour. You do not have to be a ‘lad’. You do not have to be a ‘princess’. You can be a football playing, monochrome loving mermaid, if you like. Whatever you want to be is your choice and yours alone. Don’t listen to all that noise about what girls and boys are. You are you and you is unique. Only you get to decide what makes you, you. So be yourself and do your best. Above all, enjoy this time. It’s fleeting. Embrace it. You are so lucky to have this chance (not all children do) so make the most of it. Take it all in. The fun on the playground with friends – soak it up. The books in the library – read them all. Get greedy with books. Knowledge is power, little one. Even if reading doesn’t come naturally to you. Open the book and turn the pages, look at the pictures, get an adult to read aloud to you. Let the words sink in. Remember to ask for help, don’t be proud or nervous. You will never be in trouble for not understanding or needing a little extra help. There’s no shame or need for embarrassment. Everybody on this planet needs a little bit of help with something, we all have things we are less good at. Some of us cannot read well, some cannot talk in public, yet others are unable to run and jump. No two of us are the same and that’s what makes us all so fascinating. You though….you are extra special. There really is no one quite like you on Earth. You are made of stardust, connected to everything and everyone that has ever been. That means while you are at school, we remain connected. We are never really apart. So try to have fun little one, we will be waiting for you at the gates with a big cuddle, a heart full of excitement and a pocketful of snacks.
The Teary-eyed Adults