I dropped of my oldest daughter at her first full day in Reception this morning. Last week they did half days so although we had the organisation of getting uniforms ready it didn’t really have the emotional impact of her being out of the house for the whole day. She was great, happy confident and excited. I suppose it helped that she had already attended the same nursery.

I wasn’t really expecting to feel emotional. I’m excited she is starting a new phase of her life. I love it when she learns new things and Reception year holds so many new challenges. But I did feel a lump in my throat as I looked at her waving through the window as she hung up her coat.

It’s not for her, it’s for me. We’ve had a really special time together. I was lucky enough to only work part time, two days a week while she was little and since the twins were born I haven’t worked at all. We’ve had all this time together. I will miss her silly games and conversations – although I guess they will be more enjoyable at the weekend.
It isn’t helped by the fact I have Abba’s Slipping through my fingers going through my head all weekend. I went through a big Abba stage at college but the only songs I really new were from the Abba Gold albums. So I first heard this song when I was watching the film Mamma Mia with my mum on Christmas Day a few years ago. The song is given added poinency by the fact the mother is singing about her daughter on her wedding.
So if you’re in the mood for a bit of a sob over your children taking their first steps into the big bad world have a listen to this – or read the words if you’re not an Abba fan. I think it sums up the first day of school beautifully.

Schoolbag in hand, she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile
I watch her go with a surge of that well-known sadness
And I have to sit down for a while
The feeling that I’m losing her forever
And without really entering her world
I’m glad whenever I can share her laughter
That funny little girl

Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see whats in her mind
Each time I think I’m close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time

Sleep in our eyes, her and me at the breakfast table
Barely awake, I let precious time go by
Then when she’s gone theres that odd melancholy feeling
And a sense of guilt I cant deny
What happened to the wonderful adventures
The places I had planned for us to go
(slipping through my fingers all the time)
Well, some of that we did but most we didnt
And why I just dont know

Sometimes I wish that I could freeze the picture
And save it from the funny tricks of time
Slipping through my fingers all the time