Those of you who have been around for a while may remember this post from last year in which I freaked out about the prospect of choosing a school place for our oldest son.
Given all that has happened since then, I have to be honest and say that much of that anxiety and terror is long gone. By the time we actually applied in autumn, life had changed so much in so many ways, that my perspective on the entire issue had shifted down several gears. We'd viewed four out of the ten local schools, and liked three of them. So we put down those three, in vague order of preference (although we were happy for him to go to any one) and then waited. And waited. And waited...
Meanwhile life continued to throw all kinds of shit out way. So here I sit, in an entirely different house, feeling like an entirely different person to the one who wrote that less than a year ago, with his school offer letter finally in front of me, having just called up the school to accept the place.
And I'm smiling.
Not because I no longer care about how he will settle in, or if he'll make friends, not because I'm confident in my abilities to wrangle him and his wriggly little brother into clothes and feed and water them both in order to get to the school gates before 8.55 (I most certainly am not). Not because I'm no longer worried, I'm his mother, I'm pretty sure it's in my job description to be worried about him for the rest of my life-long days.
No, I am smiling because I'm happy.
We got our second choice out of three good schools that we liked. The majority of our 'school run' will be through the local park. He is happy because he likes the uniform colours and the name of the school. His brother is happy because I've promised that he too can go there, maybe as soon as next year (if he gets a place in the school nursery). For the first time, in the process I feel completely calm. Maybe this is the eye of the storm. Maybe come August we'll all be having sleepless nights, and September could possibly bring tears (both mine and his).
There's no doubt that his starting school will open a new chapter in all of our lives, not just his, but for now I feel very content and like it is going to be fine.