Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Wednesday, 9 September 2020

My Last Baby Goes To Big School

A few days ago I grieved the loss of one important milestone. Today we celebrate another important milestone. In a different life I would've had one baby in the last year of Primary school and another starting the very first year of Primary school! 

Today I gave my last baby to school. Sob.  From here on in, school will get the most of him, probably the best of him for the foreseeable weeks as he inevitably gets increasingly tired from his full days!  I know I've been lucky; to have been able to work part time and enjoy so many one on one adventures with him, lucky that we haven't had to use full-time external childcare because Grandparents are so on board, meaning the boys have been able to predominantly spend their pre-school years at home. 

I've babied him. Obviously. He is my last little one. 

But today, when I took his Reception 'front door' photo and compared it to his Nursery 'front door' photo, it was undeniable how much he has grown up; up the door (massive growth spurt in a year!) and in himself. His face has changed and matured. Shockingly much less baby when you compare the two photos side by side! 

So much of this last year has been robbed from him. Barely any Nursery time at all, no Nursery graduation in the way it should've been. A world full of uncertainty and already an unsettled start to this new school year too. I was anxious when his brothers started school of course, but not like this. This whole starting / going to school during a Pandemic is a whole new level of anxiety of sending children to school. Thursday I still felt bravely optimistic sending them. Today I felt tearful dropping him off, dropping Lucas and Zachary off. 

We've had a stressful few days; a dodgy night of croup with Zac, back to school colds, a very poorly Xander with a very high (40.2) temperature. Which then meant obviously household COVID (negative) tests because of it. Covid testing coming before antibiotics and Xander having to suffer a prolonged deterioration with a nasty ear infection. But here we are. The all clear, for COVID at least. So today it was the big day for school.

My Little Lucas. Today you started Big School. Two days later than you should've done. You couldn't start Monday with all of your friends because we were a household having our first taste of COVID testing and quarantine. You couldn't go Tuesday because we were waiting on results.  So today was your first day. 

Last night you were not very impressed about it. You told me you only wanted to go to Baby School. But this morning, we arrived at your classroom door and you didn't miss a beat! You didn't hesitate. Your teacher greeted you and you opened with telling her about your new Thomas bags for school and proudly holding them up in the air to show her. Then in you went without looking back. Without a fuss. So confident. I'm so proud of you! 

Much more confident than Mummy. 

It wasn't the moment in the way I wanted it. Imagined it. It felt rushed handing you over. It felt entirely wrong that Daddy and I couldn't take you together. Like we had done for both of your brothers. But there is a one-parent-only policy at the school at the moment. Because you've guessed it, Covid. 

I felt under pressure to rush back to the car and get myself to work and to my own classroom children. I was so lucky that I had been told I could go to work late so that I wouldn't miss your first day. But I wish I had taken an extra moment to watch you in your classroom, watch you go and hang up your bag and settle yourself in.   If it had been Monday I could've soaked up this milestone a bit more. Your first, but my last. My last 'first day' of school.  I feel the enormity of it was robbed from us. By circumstance. By it not being Monday. 2020, the gift that keeps on giving.  

But my boy, I will watch you on the next Monday. I will watch you and then I might not know what to do to myself when I get home; with my six hours at home by myself. With no little one to look after. It was strange when I started having those two hours while you were at Nursery, but a whole day? I might actually have to do some cleaning or something to fill my time! Haha! 

I know you are going to be oh so very tired. I know you're going to find the long days and never being able to have a nap really hard as the weeks pass. You might be a summer born baby, still so young in your ways and one of the youngest in your class; but my boy you are school ready in so many other ways. Your bright little brain is ready for all the learning your teacher can throw at you!

My Little love, today was a Big Day for you. A new chapter. An end of one era and the start of another. 

I've had to share you more today to watch you and allow you to become a bigger boy. I know you're going to have the best time. It made my heart a little bit sad, this whole starting school business, but what a privilege it is to be allowed to watch you grow up!


One more step along the world you go. 

We love you enormously, Lucas. 

Mummy and Daddy xXx 

Saturday, 5 September 2020

Missed Milestones

Thursday morning it dawned on me, while I was taking the annual front door photos; that if Belle was here to take her back to school new year group picture, that it would have been a pretty significant one. As the front door pictures go. That next year will be the same.   

This year she would have been going into Year Six, the last year of primary school, with all the lasts of primary that would include. The residential trips, the grown up trips, the multitude of events across the year Year Six do marking their final days in primary school.   I wondered which of the Year Six teachers would have been hers. 

Then the prom leavers party that has become the custom in the boys school. The prom that for the last few years we have been tasked as official photographer for and loving the buzz of the kids excitement. This year it will be her cohort. The friends she might have had.  The special dress and shoes we won't be buying. 

The application to high school we won't be making. 

A significant year of missed milestones.

I've realised that next year, in September and early October, as we attend some high school open days, (open to Years 5 and 6 for a look around prior to the application process), with Xander, that she would've been starting at the high school we would've already have picked for our family.   Another September to come with another very significant missed milestone. 

And I'm ok. I've marked this should've been week in my thoughts. I haven't gone to pieces. Part of me cannot believe I'm old enough to have a child going into their last year of Primary School! I'm flabbergasted enough Xander has gone into Year Four! 

But today I tried to visualise how far up the front door she might have been for her photo this year. Taking my best guess that she would probably tower over Xander. And as he is now somewhere over the first 'line' on the door she would probably have hit the second.   Her 'I'm in Year Six' moment without her in it. 

Missed milestones. 

A lifetime of missed milestones and stolen moments. 

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After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows. I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander, Zachy and Luc. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
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