Next week sees my youngest son, Xander, start school. I feel lucky to have had an extra year with him as he’s almost 5, and whilst I know he’ll love school and hopefully thrive socially and academically (and he’s so READY), my heart feels heavy. Xander is still my baby (and no doubt, always will be) and I’ve admittedly babyfied him, too.
That kid is my mini-me, my miniature best friend along with his brother. He’s a complete mummy’s boy (unlike my eldest who is besotted with his Daddy) and literally only stopped crying at nursery drop-off just a few months ago. Really.
I’m incredibly close to my eldest son, Oliver too of course, but he was born mature beyond his years meaning every milestone to-date has been accomplished with ease from nursery and school and even our recent house move, he has great clarity for a 7 year old…He’s often been the one counselling and supporting me! He’s a very special kid and my Mum likes to remind me, he’s similar to me as a child: fearlessly independent, empathetic and confident.
Xander is the bambino though-he seems so little still, with tiny hands and that baby smell of honey which never left him (nor Oliver) but unlike my eldest, he’s incredibly affectionate and loves nothing more than to kiss and cuddle his Mummy. He even brushes my hair at night and often calls me his Majesty and Rapunzel (ha), his eyes full of love for his Mama Queen!
Xander is hilariously funny too and finds it easy to make friends…but whilst he loves the camera (I wonder who he takes after), he has a shy side too so I hope he settles quickly…
Alexander is the kind of kid who’ll always want to be close to his folks (I hope), the one who goes to uni in his hometown, returning to us for Sunday lunch each week, his wash bags in hand. I mean who knows, maybe my kids will want to live abroad, but I’d like them close to us, as all parents do. More than anything, though I want them to follow their hearts and be happy.
I know that process of ‘letting go’ is a life-long one and you’re never ready for your kids to fly the nest (my parents cried when we left Yorkshire for Windsor recently and I too, sobbed like a baby).
Next week is the start of a new chapter for all of us.
Both my children start different schools in our new hometown of Windsor (they didn’t get into the same ones) and it feels rather bitter-sweet, although I know it’s mostly sweet as my baby will start growing and hopefully, flourishing before my eyes (as will his brother in his new environment) and before I know it I’ll have to stop calling him ‘my baby’ and accept he’s growing up. That he can’t be Peter Pan however much I’d like him to be.
I know deep down, he’ll be OK…and so will I.
Have you got a child starting school, too?