I was sat outside Holly’s Ballet class in a room full of mums and they were talking about visiting the schools trying to decide which one is right for their child.
And it took me back to two years ago when we were doing the same for Alice. I was fairly sure I knew which school was our first choice, but how wrong was I.
I learnt that whilst the reports are important to take into consideration, what was actually more important for me was the question – ‘Is this school right for Alice?’
Could I imagine her sat on the mat for story time and running out of the school gates and into my arms at the end of the day (I never tire of this).
And the answer was ‘no’ to the school I thought we would love. When I walked into the school that ended up being our first choice, I immediately felt it suited Alice. It was smaller, quieter and had a lovely feel about it. I knew she wouldn’t get lost in the crowd.
Of course that one decision meant a lot of changes for us if Alice got a place. We were out of catchment and if she got a place, what about Holly two years later?
Well it is two years later and it’s time to fill in that school application for a second time.
A lot has changed since then, for those that don’t know, Alice did get a place in the school that we loved and it is without a doubt the best decision we made. She is now in Year one, has lots of friends and is thriving at school.
Whilst Alice starting school is a big deal, a massive change to our everyday life. The biggest change that has happened for us all, is we moved house last year.
When we decided to put the school down as our first choice, we also made the decision that if Alice got a place we would move to be closer. Of course a factor in that decision is to be in catchment for Holly. But we also wanted a change in life.
As I sit to fill in the application form for Holly I don’t have the same worry and stress like I did with Alice. I don’t have to do the school visits, because we visit the school every day.
Instead I have tears in my eyes as I type her name, because I’m not ready to give my baby girl over to school. She seems so much younger than Alice did at this age and whilst they are exactly the same age. Alice is a wise head on young shoulders!
I know that between now and when she starts she will grow up a lot, but I just want to sprinkle magic dust on her and keep her little forever.
I can’t imagine not having a little one with me everyday, to sit in the coffee shop and not getting the colouring out. To have two empty hands as I walk around the shops and no last minute dashes to the nearest toilet.
As I drive along to the radio in the background and no constant chat or nursery rhymes coming from the back. To only have me to buckle in the car. It all feels so alien to me.
So as I sit here filling in the form, I’m filled with very different thoughts to the first time. I’m going to treasure this time with Holly, soak her up and try not to think to far into the future.