Last Friday afternoon was Betty's first induction session at school. In the hours leading up to it I was an emotional wreck. I had an urge to listen to 80s music - the music from my own school days. I imagined walking Betty up the school playground later that day for the first time and I cried. I remembered walking up the very same playground on my first day of school. I thought about my childhood and wondered how and when I got to where I am now, with two children of my own, one about to start school, and the other not that far behind. I opened the cupboard to seek out my secret stash of chocolate buttons and they had gone. I cried.
It wasn't the physical act of taking Betty to school for the first time that was bothering me, for she is desperate to go and so ready for it, but the symbolism of it all. I have spent the last four and half years in a blissful little mummy bubble (ok, not always blissful I know, sometimes bloody hard, as this blog documents, but totally blissful in retrospect) and now it feels like I am entering back into real life. A life full of rigid routines that I will no longer have any say over, a life of my kids not being around nearly so much, a life of things becoming slightly more out of my control. I know that my children are still only four and two and not about to leave home, but suddenly life seems a little more serious.
No more whiling away the days making play dough, painting, throwing glitter everywhere, dressing up as fairies, having playdates, going to the playground, watching CBeebies. Well not with Betty anyway. Of course I still have my gorgeous delightful Dolly to do all these lovely things with, but both she and I will really really miss Betty's presence. And even my baby Dolly (who will be two in a few weeks) will be starting pre-school after Easter, and embarking on her own rapid flight out of the nest.
So with all of this going on, I feel emotional, and sad, but happy, and a little bit like I am heading for redundancy in my current job.