Its nearing the end of the summer holidays and we are nearly ready for the return to school, only this year I will have 2 children at school, instead of one.
Lily is unphased about starting school, she doesn’t mention it and has taken it all in her stride. She has happily chosen her school uniform and shoes. She is a little disappointed that her nursery friends aren’t in her class but she is looking forward to seeing a new friend she made on the taster day.
I feel like I should be unphased too, as I have already experienced James starting last September, but I almost feel more nervous this time. Yes I am familiar with the routine, and I know what to expect now. I should be even more confident because I am a parent governor at their school, and I know much more about the education system, the staff and the school than I did when James started.
All these things I should be… but aren’t. Because this time Lily is starting school, and she is a completely different character from James.
James is confident, resilient and logical. He has a thirst for knowledge, he is outgoing, he initiates friendships, he is extremely good at communicating. He is very personable and loves making people laugh. Like his father, James is capable of entering a room of strangers and finding common ground and pulling them all together.. its quite a skill!
Lily is quiet and observant, she is very able and thoughtful. She can be reserved, if she is unsure she would prefer to watch quietly than join in. She is full of courage, she’s very creative.. but most of all my Lily is caring and loving. I am worried because she doesn’t make friends as easily as James. James regards everyone as his friend and includes them, Lily tends to wait to be included.
Lily follows James’ lead a lot, and in nursery this wasn’t problem as they operate a ‘free flow’ system between nursery and reception and they spent much of last year together. This year James classroom is in a different part of the school so she wont see James during the school day, except maybe over lunch. Without him and her nursery friends, I am worried she will be lonely, and feel left out.
Her bond with James Amy, and Ava has grown so strong over the summer holidays. They do everything together, and the eldest three are inseparable. We were given an early anniversary present earlier this week, and Lily asked what an ‘anniversary’ was. We explained and she asked if she could marry James, which was very cute. I explained that she couldn’t marry James because he was her brother. I said she might meet someone when she is older, that she loves with all her heart, and that they might decide to get married.
She responded by telling me she loves James with all her heart, I didnt explain that very well did I!
- If we offer Lily a biscuit, she will ask if she can take one for James and Amy too
- James will ask to do something, I will agree and he will call for his sisters to join in.
- Amy will call for James and Lily if she sees its dinnertime and they aren’t in the kitchen.
- James and Lily both shout out from the back of the car if we start the engine and one of them isn’t strapped in. (Safety first, you have to have your seatbelt fastened before you start the engine!)
We were at the park recently and James and Lily were at the top of the slide, a queue was forming and I asked James if he could slide down, so that the other children could take a turn. He explained he was waiting for Amy, moments later Amy climbed onto the slide behind Lily and they all slid down together, its times like that that melt my heart, I really hope that their closeness continues.
Its not all cuddles and smiles, they do their fair share of bickering and telling tales, and this is getting more frequent as they grow older. As a parent I try and let them resolve things between themselves, rather than stepping in and taking sides and telling them how to resolve it. I try not to take sides because it creates a winner and a looser, even if its clear that one child is right. I listen to both sides of the story without judgement or taking sides, because I think its really important that they feel heard, and then I help them explain their feelings to each other, and help them find a solution that is fair. Unfortunately its not as simple in practise, and its incredibly difficult to not get drawn in emotionally when one of your children is upset.
On the whole I am incredibly proud of the bond my children have, but their bond makes me more worried about Lily finding her feet in reception. She had James when she needed him last year, and always included her. This year she is on her own, and although at the moment I am much more worried about September than Lily is, I really hope she settles well.
It seems only moments ago we were bringing our little Lily home from hospital in her bright red spotted Minnie-the-mouse outfit. Now she is about to embark on a new stage of her life, having her own experiences without me. I am going to miss her.
I am linking up with Katie from MummyDaddyMe for #TheOrdinaryMoments Linky