(Please use this e-mail in the header, not my g-mail one)

Around this time last year I remember listening to my friends whose children were about to start primary school. They told me how sad they were about losing their children into the big bad world and how they were treasuring the last few weeks before the start of term.

I thought that it was all a bit pathetic really and I inwardly scoffed about these “soft” mums. I would joke that I wished I could send my daughter to school a year early to give me a bit of peace.

Oh, how I am eating my words! My baby girl is starting school in less than two weeks and I am dreading it.

This little girl who is almost five cannot possibly be old enough for school. It was only moments ago that she was taking her first wobbly steps and just a jiffy since she was a babe in arms.

Up until now we, her family have been the single biggest influence in her life. She has spent a couple of days a week in either pre-school or nursery but we have always had the vast majority of the week with her.

This has meant that we have had control over her little life; what she eats, what she learns, who she is friends with and how she sorts out problems.

It has dawned on me that we will no longer have this level of influence on her as she will now spend most of her time in school. She will be learning in a classroom with 29 other children and to an extent, she is going to have to fight her own battles.

At playtime she will have to deal with the other children, forge new friendships and make sure she doesn’t get accidentally mown down by the older boys.

Unfortunately she will also have to deal with cliques, fall-outs and meanness. As I mum, I just hope that I have done enough to minimise her involvement in this unpleasant behaviour and given her the confidence to stick up for others and to be kind.

Unless she chooses to tell me, I will not know what she has eaten for school dinners each day or how much she ate. I will not be able to help her if she needs a hand in the bathroom and I won’t be right there if she needs a cuddle or a chat between the hours of 8.55am to 3.15pm.

The thought of all of this is breaking my heart a little bit. Of course I know that this is the way that things should be; my daughter is more than ready for school and is desperately excited to start.

She has attended pre-school for a year already at her “big school” so the children and the environment are all familiar to her. I know that on her first day she will skip in happily, proud as punch in her new uniform and glad to see her friends after the long summer holidays.

I, on the other hand will be standing in the playground doing my best to hold it together until she is out of sight.


Thursday, August 22

2-4pm drop in art sessions at the Mercer Art Gallery. This week it will be painting.

2pm- late Harrogate Stray Fun Fair (open until Saturday, August 31) all rides £1 per person per ride on Thursday, August 22 and Thursday, August 29. Great selection of rides and attractions for all ages.

Saturday, August 24

10:30am-5pm drop in crafts at the Royal Pump Room Museum. A different theme each week linking to the museum’s displays and Harrogate’s history, and also a weekly challenge for you! Victorians – make a decoupage picture frame.

11am- midnight charity family fun day at the Skipton Public House (children welcome until 9pm.)

Harewood Hillclimb – summer championship hillclimb. The event is being held to raise money for two charities, Yorkshire Cancer and the British Legion Poppy Appeal. There will be a bouncy castle, bucking bronco, disco/karaoke, cake stall, barbecue and more.

Tuesday, August 27

1-4pm family time at the Workhouse Museum, Ripon print with plants! Four to 12-years. Explore the plants growing in our kitchen garden and use them to print with. Explorer toys and treasure basket 0-four-years.

2.15-3pm story time in the garden at The Little Ripon Bookshop. This week’s theme Buckets and Spades.