This time every year my timeline is filled with updates from frantic mothers about reception school placements. Some happy, some relieved and some devastated not to have received their favoured school.
I remember the feeling of anxiety and panic on the day we found out about Finn's placement. I set my alarm for midnight, not that I needed to because I could hardly sleep with worry. What would happen if we didn't get our first choice? How would we appeal? What were our options, could we afford to move house? I remember logging on the website at 12:07 with sweaty palms and a pounding headache. He got his first choice.
But what if he hadn't? Would he stop being the bright, funny, compassionate boy he had always been? Would he no longer want to learn or be interested in how the toilet flush worked? Would I stop spending time reading books to him and talking to him everyday about the world around us? Of course the answer to all these questions is no and that is the thing. Yes your child is at school for most of the day which is around 30 hours a week but that still leaves 138 hours that they are with you. Learning from you and being nurtured by you. You will continue to do all the wonderful things you already do with your pre schooler, you will read to them, talk to them and teach them your moral code. Ok so Miss may teach them how to blend phonics but it is YOU who will teach them to fall in love with books. School will introduce them to new friends but it is you who will show your child how to be loyal and loving. When the school day is over it is still you that holds your child tight before they go to sleep and urge them to have the sweetest of dreams. Primary School is such a tiny fraction of your child's journey, out of maybe 80 years they will spend just seven years there. Seven short years.
So if your child didn't get their first, second or even third place remember that it is not the school that maketh the child but the parent. No matter what school they go to with a loving home and a supportive family your child will flourish and achieve all that is destined for them. Because of YOU.