Times are fleeting, years pass, people grow. I have always been aware of these things. It's just life. Last night I knowingly tucked my little man into bed and snuggled him down, I knew that this was the last night like this...Ever.
The last night I would ever do this for my pre-schooler anyway..
Today my not so little Leo awoke bright and early for his very first day at school. He was up and about before the alarm had even gone off, raring to get ready. His excitement was contagious as he wolfed down his Weetos and second helping of toast. He was eager to get his shiny new school uniform on, but I had decided this would have to wait until breakfast was completely cleared away to at least prevent any stained clothes before he even arrived at school...
I lay out his uniform, it was all so new and inviting and I cast my mind back to my first day at school all of those years ago. It was no wonder he was bouncing off the walls with the utter most of excitement.
Leo stood before me completely kitted out in his new school uniform, and right before my eyes he grew. He grew tenfold within a few seconds of slipping into the attire that he will proudly wear for the next 6 years of his life. It was like he aged physically and emotionally at the same time, he looked older and suddenly, he sounded older, so much wiser than his 4 years.
As he pranced around the room telling me how much he loved his uniform, I couldn't help but smile. I had never seen him so made up with an outfit before, and I think he realised right there and then that he really was growing up. He declared his love for his 'strong trousers' and his 'big boy shoes' and we made our way out of the door (of course not before an impromptu photo shoot!)
We arrived at school and he bounced instead of walked. He skipped and he hopped, the excitement igniting in his eyes sparkling brighter and brighter as we made our way through the school gates for his very first day.
I had been a little surprised at how excited Leo was by the entire affair after he had spent all summer telling me how he wasn't going to be going to school. He didn't seem nervous, not at all, not even a little bit. I suddenly felt an overwhelming sense of pride. It had only been months before that people were concerned about how Leo may not be ready for school.
Now just look at him.
Look at him proving them all wrong and excelling.
Look at him.
The bell rang and children began to conform to instructions as the teacher arrived in the play ground. A lovely lady who I knew was going to teach and care for my special boy. A lady that he was already looking up to and respecting.
Leo held my hand and we walked into his classroom, where there were children with a mixture of reactions to the special day. Some children cried, some parents cried, some laughed and played. It was a real mixture of emotions for everyone and at times it didn't feel real.
There were no tears from Leo, he handed in his book bag, put away his lunch box and made his way to the train box (of course he did!). It was here that I pulled him in and gave him the biggest hug. Wished him an amazing first day and told him that I would be back to collect him in a few hours, and that we would head over to McDonald's for a first day treat when he finished.
With that he pulled me back in for a bigger hug and I made my way out of the door, glancing back over my shoulder I saw just how grown up my baby boy had become.
The hours flew by and before I knew it I was back at the gates collecting my big boy after his very first day. I walked slowly into the playground trying to source where my little man was in the crowd of children all running around in identical outfits. I couldn't see him straight away, and then I saw him stood perplexed, staring right at me. His little bottom lip quivering. I am pretty certain that it was only because he saw me and was exhausted after such an exhilarating day, now more than ready to come home.
He did declare that he wasn't going to be back again tomorrow...But I am sure that he will be absolutely fine.
Of course now it begins, I ask how his day was and I don't get a response. He looks at me and doesn't want to talk about the busy day that we both know that he has had, but what he has learned remains a mystery.
Tonight we settled down into bed and we read the book 'Can I play in the Mud' that had been sent home from school, and I tucked in my school boy ready for another busy day tomorrow.
Welcome to the school years.
Where has the time gone?