New School Days: Emotional Times?

It’s been a big week for the wee guy. The start of a brand-new educational journey laced with so much hope, promise and, of course, a hefty dose emotion

Hope and promise are gilt-edged. They deal with the unknown of what lies ahead. Most of it is out of our circle of influence, we simply hope and pray for the very best for our little ones. 

The steps they take now lay the foundations for what lies ahead. There will come a point where they make their own choices, just now we steer them in the direction we think is best. 

Personally, it hasn’t been the big landmark I thought it might be. That’s not underestimating the moment your child starts P1, far from it. I just didn’t catch any of the emotion typically associated with such a milestone. I’ve witnessed and experienced plenty of emotion around me, just not personally felt the wave that may have been expected.

Could be a number of reasons for this; this heartless ‘oul one hammering the keyboard has become immune to emotion for the most part. Perhaps it’s because Conor has been ‘school-ready’ for some time for despite his young years he has already attended three nurseries plus school nursery.

It’s early days but he’s taking it in his stride, and that’s the most important thing. 

These are big weeks in houses all over the country. Important weeks, especially as time moves on and families look back. 

This week I was taken by the effort made by Conor’s aunty Lorraine, otherwise known as ‘Lala’, and her daughter Eilidh. They made a whirlwind 24-hour trip over from Scotland to make sure they were present for the start of Conor’s school journey at St Mary’s in Newcastle. It’s great that Conor also gets school time at St Mary’s with his older cousins Ruairi and Owen too. 

Despite a laden workload that had seen aunty Lala ensconced in such faraway places as Shetland, she still found the time to hop on a plane from Edinburgh to Belfast before a twilight journey down the road, only to be repeated in reverse 24 hours later.

I shouldn’t have been surprised; it’s something Conor’s mum would have done. It’s something Gill did do for all her nephews and niece’s first days at school. Gill was known to travel the length of the country to make it back to St Ninian’s in Stirling in time for those all-important pictures on the front doorstep.

It’s also the only time uniforms across the land will ever be pristine. From that Kodak Moment onwards it’s all downhill for the school garb.

Aunty Lorraine knew the importance of the moment, just as her sister did. I was grateful for the company, but more importantly they got to see the wee guy start out.

Mrs Doran played a star role for keeping us right and allowing us a quick tour around Ms Colhoun and Mrs Harbinson’s P1 classes. Wee things but it means Aunty Lala and the Scottish crew will have context and reference when Conor gets revved up and recalls his school days to Scotland on FaceTime.

Another young educational journey has begun. Although this scribbler may have been bereft of emotion associated to such a key time in a young life, there were plenty around us aware of the moment.

The only hope for Conor and all his wee pals starting out? Be the best person you can be. Live your best life, that’s all you can ask for.

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