No tears or fears as Alyssa starts school

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Friends and family released balloons on Portsdown Hill on what would have been Katie's 15th birthday on February 4

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Do you remember your first day at pre-school?

I think I do, but then I wonder if these are my own memories or ones created from stories I’ve been told.

It was 1987 when the three-year-old version of me went to the pre-school at St John’s in Arundel Street, Landport, Portsmouth.

I’m told there were tears as my parents said goodbye to me at the school door and I was introduced to a whole new world.

So, 27 years on it was time for my three-year-old daughter Alyssa to make new friends and learn through play at pre-school.

How did this happen?

It seems only yesterday she was a helpless little new-born baby whose survival was all down to her parents.

Now she’s a wise three-year-old (going on 13) who knows how to work the iPad better than me.

Now she’ll be learning her alphabet and I’ll be trying to adapt to her new schedule.

As the big day arrived and we closed the front door to make the short walk to her new home for three hours each weekday, I wondered if this major milestone in her life would stay in her memory and if she’d recall the day’s events in years to come.

Only time will tell, but the good news was there were no tears.

This was because on her first day I was with her for the entire session to ease her gently into this new, life-changing experience.

In we walked and the expected pre-school setting greeted us.

There were tables and chairs that didn’t reach any higher than my knees and lots of items with which the children could express their arty side, such as paints, pens and crayons.

Alyssa was invited to play in the sand pit with a member of staff.

I thought she might decline and recoil into me, but without a thought off she went without a care in the world and without looking back.

She immediately got stuck in, up to her elbows in sand.

And that was it – her school life had begun.

Later it was time for painting before moving on to some singing with her new friends.

Of course, the biggest hurdle is still to come. That is when I leave her at pre-school for the first time.

I’ll get her through the morning routine of brushing those tiny teeth, eating breakfast, getting dressed and finding socks that match.

But when I say goodbye to her at the pre-school door, will she cling on to me and beg to stay with me or will she simply give me a kiss goodbye and walk through the door with no fuss?

Well, after her first session she didn’t want to leave so I’m feeling confident there will be no tears or tantrums.

Well, at least not from her.