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The first goodbye

We strolled into the school playground, my eldest daughter laden up with bags. The only bags I carried were the ones under my eyes from sleepless nights, worrying about letting my little girl go.

The first goodbye

It is easy to think of the beginning of school as the end of an era. The pre-school days are over. The late starts, afternoon naps and lazy mornings at home. But more than that, it is a glimpse of a time when you will no longer be needed.

We walked together to her line in the playground. Parents were milling around, waiting until the last moment to leave them. But not me. I put her in the line, where she weighed up the other children and told me to go.

Thursday photo #122 - a weekly photo of two sisters - the one where the eldest started school

I found myself a quiet corner and waited, making sure she really didn’t need me. After a few minutes, the children walked past us on their way into the classroom. She broke away from her line to give me a kiss goodbye, before running back to catch up.

She smiled as she turned away, heading off for a new beginning without looking back.

And in the blink of an eye it was over

It seems like only yesterday that I was waving her off for that first day at school. And yet, a whole year has passed in the blink of an eye.

That little girl who didn’t give me a second glance still needs me. She a happy, confident little soul who brought home a glowing school report. But she is still a little girl who needs her mum.

And I know that as time goes by, the goodbyes won’t get any easier. The first day of primary school will soon morph into the last. And then high school will beckon. And eventually university, and a life that I won’t be part of.

So for now, I’ll be making the most of our summer holidays together. And when the time comes for the next goodbye, I’ll know that it’s a new beginning for her. The next opportunity to grow in confidence, meet new friends and become her own person. I just hope she doesn’t grow up too quickly.

It seems like only yesterday that I was waving her off for that first day at school. And yet, a whole year has passed in the blink of an eye.

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  1. What a lovely post! I don’t know where the time went from my little girl starting school. It doesn’t make sense that she’s left primary school now! But I’m pleased to say she still needs her mum 🙂 x

  2. Hi Nat, every new thing our children experience takes them that little further away from us, but they are a little like homing pigeons and return to the fold when they are done. When my daughter starts school in September, it will be her last year, after that, I will no longer be a Mum with school age children. All being well and she gets the grades she needs next September she will be spreading her wings and heading off to Uni on the mainland. It feels like only yesterday she was that small child heading into her first day at school.

    Our job, as a parent is to allow our children to experience as much as they can, be there to guide them, to catch them when they fall, to listen and to pat them on the back when they do well. It’s not easy, but I have a feeling that with your guidance, both of your girls will grow up to be happy and confident adults. Just don’t blink for too long!


    1. Yes you’re absolutely right of course, we have to let them go. And thank you, I do hope that they grow up to be happy and confident, that’s the ultimate dream for them.

  3. Oh my lovely this brought a tear to my eye as my Harriet starts reception in September and I feel so nervous about it as does she. Time is just flying by and selfishly I guess I just want it to pause just for a while. Beautiful post xxx