Here’s why starting school is one of the happiest and hardest day for parents

January 21, 2015

Dear Max

It is possible that your first day at your new school was among the most bittersweet I’ve ever experienced as a parent. Seeing you in uniform for the first time made me proud, excited, and quite frankly, pretty petrified. I wasn’t scared that you wouldn’t cope, or that you wouldn’t settle in, but rather, I feared letting go, and not being able to protect you from all the things I want to shield you from.


Like the kids who might pick you last for the sports team. Like the kids who might pick on you. Like a lonely break time. Like the picture you might struggle to draw. Like the fear or sadness that might come from being fetched late/leaving your lunch at home/running your first race.

I realise that some of these might never actually happen, or even bother you for that matter, and reading back, I realise I’m probably just trying to protect you from the things that happened to me when I was at school, and that your school challenges might be completely different to mine, if at all.

But I hate that I can’t protect you all the time, something I’ve known since you were born, and that all I can do is prepare you as best as I can, pep you up when school and life seem too big to bear, and try to pick up your pieces if they need it.

Inside your too-big-for-you-uniform, is a little guy so full of strength and soul, who I know will probably share his sandwiches, Kinder chocolates and building blocks with the others, while keeping his head high when he needs to. I know you’ll be okay, and that you’ll handle school just as you need to, but I still want to envelop you fiercely.

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Here’s wishing you an amazing journey filled with learning, growth, awesome playtime, great lunches, fun, progress and smiles. May your too-big-for-you-suitcase carry you and your tools of learning safely.

I love you, my grade R big little dude.


PS: You settled well in your new school, and didn’t cry on the first day, even though it’s completely okay to do so. I made up for you, and cried a lot, albeit discreetly. I cried when I saw other kids walking hand in hand with their parents, I cried when I saw your locker, I cried when I saw your classroom for the first time. I cried when I said goodbye. I cried when I watched you settle in, through one of the classroom windows.  I also cried on the way to work. These were bittersweet mostly happy tears.

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  • cat@jugglingact

    Congratulations and all the best for a long and very happy school career. My last one went to grade one – I cried just a very tiny little tear of happy

    January 21, 2015 at 2:48 pm Reply
  • Heather

    Big dude all grown up! I’m sure I’ll also be an emotional mess when my time comes.

    January 22, 2015 at 7:04 am Reply
  • Mrs FF

    That’s a very lovely picture of you two!!!

    Hugs mommy, but thankful the tears wasn’t because Max was upset or crying that would have made it doubly worse.

    May his school journey be filled with many pleasant and wonderful memories xxx

    January 22, 2015 at 9:15 pm Reply
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