Our little boy had his primary one introduction this morning.
It was a huge day for me. Thinking about it now, it’s as if I’ve taken Tim Peake’s place and I’m suddenly able to see the whole picture from a great height.
All the moves – from Glasgow to Aberdeen (serviced apartment, then rented house, then our own house) and then Aberdeen to Edinburgh (rented house and – soon, soon – our own home) have led to this. All the job moves for Rod, all the resettling in nurseries and neighbourhoods, all the challenges for my wee business – they’ve all been for this.
I am so proud to say that he is shortly beginning his primary career in one of our capital’s best schools. I saw today for myself how passionate the staff are about education. I stood in his classroom, with its door out into the playground and interactive board and treasures of resources. I met some of his classmates and talked about football. I shared a joke with another parent, dressed in army fatigues and clearly as proud of his child as I was.
I listened to the depute head give a presentation about the sort of things the wee man will be learning over the next year. I heard parents talk about fundraising and socialising and getting involved in the curriculum. I exchanged smiles with other mums whose smaller kids were being equally demanding while we were all trying to pay attention. I felt welcome and like I was being inducted into a pretty awesome club.
I was hyper-aware of how lucky we are and I don’t take any of it for granted. Millions of children don’t even get an education, never mind one as good as this. We live in a country that provides this level of schooling for free. How amazing is that?
Rod and I went back to collect the Wee Man from his classroom and – somewhat nervously – asked how he’d been.
“He’s very smiley isn’t he?” the teacher remarked and told us how he’d spotted two boys who looked shy and scared and so pulled them into his game.
I nearly burst with love.
All his nursery teachers were outside when we arrived and they excitedly asked which class he was in, who his teacher was and if he’d enjoyed himself. I was touched to see how much they cared.
The Wee Man, for his part, had a massive smile on his face and proudly showed off his name badge with his class on it.
I feel like we’ve reached some kind of finish line. We’ve made it through those tough early years. We’ve done excellent groundwork. The next chapter is about to begin.