The summer holidays are quickly drawing to an end. Which for some of us parents means a huge relief as it’s back to a normal routine and time for some much needed ‘me time’. Previously years I secretly couldn’t wait for the schools to start again. Not so much as it meant a cleaner house (although stepping bare foot on a piece of stray Lego isn’t pleasant!), lower grocery bills and not hearing the word ‘Mummmm’ all day long. More so as the first day of school meant first day of freedom. Freedom to chat to another adult without having to filter the content of the conversation. Being able to finish a task without being interrupted, not exaggerating here, a zillion times. Basically for some us parents the night before first day of school is pretty much parenthood’s Christmas Eve!! I am sure most of you mums and dads out there can add to the list of being happy that the first day of school has finally arrived. However this year I do have a little lump in my throat thinking of the first day of school. This year for me and my two it means big changes. Or as I like to call it, new opportunities! My eldest will be starting boarding school to pursue her dream of playing basketball and studying. My youngest will be starting high school. Although there are moments I wish I could freeze time or go back and watch my children grow up all over again, there are also moments of sheer excitement knowing they both will be making new memories, growing as a person and hopefully meet new kindred spirits and make like minded friends. Alongside moments of being an over protective mum and not wanting them go out in the big wide world all on their own.
Not a morning person myself. Monday means it will be good bye to the lazy late morning starts which I thoroughly enjoyed. Saying that, my son Fin had very early and incredible noisy starts all summer. Somehow I already know this coming Monday, when the alarm goes off at 7am, he will be dead to the world and I won’t be able to get him out of bed without setting light to his feet.
With being raised in The Netherlands, I never had the experience of having a new school uniform as in my home country you wear your own clothes to school. I understand most of you will argue there are more pro’s than cons to having a school uniform. The biggest pro I can shamefully admit whilst reminiscing about my own school years is the fact that there are no arguments with parents how NOT to go dressed to school. My poor mum had to put up with me in my teenage years trying to sneak out one day looking like Madonna to the next day looking like Robert Smith from The Cure! Saying this I believe this is also a massive pro of not having a uniform as you are able to explore creativity, individuality and celebrate diversity at a young age.
Looking at one of my favourite pictures of my two blowing bubbles without a care in the world, I believe the most important gifts we can give our children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence. Responsibility to be kind, fair, grounded and able to feel they can deal with daily life in their own way. Independence to be free spirits, making up their own minds, knowing they are secure and not afraid to try new things. I truly hope I have been able to give those gifts to my children to tackle the new academic year with curiosity and enthusiasm.
If your children are also a little apprehensive like my two, starting their new school year please tell them that they must remember: “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think. But whatever you do, always try your best because your best is good enough!” Also, let them know not to forget to reach out to their mates that might be struggling a little longer to settle back into school life.
I am wishing my children will look back in years to come, that these were some of the best days of their lives and they are able to grow into fabulous, self sufficient adults pursuing dreams and doing what they love doing most. I am definitely looking forward to them both coming home with new stories and sharing their experiences.
Make sure you enjoy the last weekend of the summer break 2017. Make it one to send your offspring back to school with fond memories and knowing they have safe base they love coming home to.