By Tracy Gladman, Education & Business Manager, The Worrinots

It can’t be that time of year already, can it? The sun has hardly shone, the wind hasn’t stopped blowing, the children haven’t stopped raiding the fridge and now, here we are, thinking about the new school year.

I miss my children being young; taking them to the park, playing football, the camping experiences down in the West Coast and Mackerel fishing for the BBQ. They were such good times and it went way too quick. However, I don’t miss the thought of taking them back to school to start the new academic year.

My eldest son loved going to school; he was such a sociable child, he still is now as an adult. He used to break out in to a gentle jog all the way from home to the door of his classroom when at infant school. It was such a relief; as I knew he was happy and content being there, even though he struggled academically. Unlike his younger brother; adamant he wasn’t going to school, telling me he just wanted to stay at home with mum, until he found out there was water play there.

It was the final weeks of summer before my eldest started junior school; some mornings we played cards and frustration in our pj’s until midday, keeping a score board over the six weeks to see who would win. The three of us were so competitive. As the six weeks started to come to an end it was time to start introducing conversation during the morning competition about going back to school.

My children were very open with me; or so I thought, they were keen to voice their opinion about things and very inquisitive with questions.

The morning had arrived; the first day back to school and the need to settle back into routine. Everything seemed the same as it did when we carried out the morning routine the previous academic year. We left the house; this time my eldest son didn’t break out into his gentle jog, perhaps he feels more grown up knowing he is going to ‘big school’.

He walked by my side and even held my hand. His younger brother went to his new class with the same level of enthusiasm he usually displayed, then we walked across the playground to the junior school.

Still holding my hand and walking very close to me I looked down at my eldest son, his eyes were watering and he looked up at me. ‘You OK?" I asked him, "the sun is making my eyes water" he said with a wobbly voice, "let’s go and say hello to your new teacher" I said as I saw her in the playground and we walked in silence.

As we approached she could see the look on his face, I put my arm around his shoulder and gave him a firm reassuring squeeze, I looked at his teacher and animated towards my eyes my son was upset. She looked at me with that knowing look and then at my son with a big smile, took his hand and said "let’s go for a walk and see if we can see some of your knew class friends". I bent down, gave him a kiss and assured him I would see him after school.

I watched him walk away; he didn’t look over his shoulder, so I turned and went. I hurried home put the key in the door and it started, the floods of tears.

I felt guilty that I didn’t know he was worried about starting his new school, why didn’t he tell me? We always talked about everything. 

If only there was some way for him to have been able to open up about his worries of going to junior school, if only solutions like The Worrinots were available for him to confide in, then I would have known, I could have helped him to make that transition much easier. Instead I am reliving the whole event again, in tears, writing this blog.

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