Nursing Times’ student nurse blogger Katrina Michelle Rowan on going back to school.
It is my daughters first day at primary school tomorrow and I have found myself surprisingly emotional about it.
My daughter is very excited about starting school. She has had her uniform laid out ready for almost a week. She has chosen her pencil case (a pink one) and her pencils (tinkerbell ones), she has got her plimsolls for PE and her gym kit all ready for the big day.
She spent ages choosing which lunch box she wanted and which drink cup to go with it. She has told us what she wants in her packed lunch, her favourite sandwiches are tuna, and that she wants cucumber and carrot sticks as well. She was disappointed about not being allowed chocolate in her lunch box though! She has been talking about srtating school for so long now and finally tomorrow, the big day will be here.
I, on the other hand, feel like I’m losing something.
For the past few years she has been at nursery. The luxury of nursery has been that if I had a day off, or I finished early, I have been able to pick her and her brother up when I wanted to. I could take them out to the park, or for an ice-cream or to go swimming if I didn’t want to send them in to nursery, I didn’t have to. Now, all of a sudden I’m losing that luxury. Its almost like my child is out of my control, she’s in the school system - she’s caught up in something bigger.
I can’t keep her off for the day now should I want to. I can’t get to spend the time with her that I want. School hours will dictate her days. I think that my daughter starting school has made me realise just how much she has grown, she is no longer a baby, or a toddler, she is now a school girl. As much as I am looking forward to seeing how she develops and the wonderful, funny, quirky little lady that she will grow into, a part of me has just realised that one of the most special parts of her younger life has passed in what seems like no time at all.
I’m sure she will have a brilliant time at school and make plenty of friends. I’m certain the emotions I am feeling now will subside as I grow even more prouder of her as she learns to read and write, as she learns maths and hopefully becomes better at languages and geography than I ever was.
I never for a minute thought I would find starting school such an emotional experience. I was expecting nerves and plenty of questions from my daughter but she seems to have taken it all in her stride and is remarkably unconcerned about it. Her little brother has asked more questions than she has!
So tomorrow, when we take her in for the first time, I have promised myself that I won’t cry till she’s gone into the classroom and can’t see me and I will look forward to picking her up again at midday and hearing all about her first day.
I also start my electives this week, where I can elect to spend time in an area I have not yet experienced or wish to gain an insight into. I have been looking forward to this ever since I found out we could request placements in areas of special interest. I have separated my electives into three placements of four weeks each.
For a brief time I considered going to London and spending four weeks at a trauma centre. Circumstances, finances and mostly the thought of being away from my family made me decide that London, although a fabulous opportunity, would not be best for me. So, my first four weeks I spend with the paramedics, the next four weeks are with the resus team and my final four weeks are at a walk in centre. I am really looking forward to these placements and hoping to gain some invaluable experience.
Best of all, not only do I get to spend 12 weeks doing placements that really interest me, I also get to go home to my family every night and hopefully my daughter will tell me all about the wonderful things she has done at school!