So Freyja, this is it. Your last session at nursery. Next week you will be at school full time and your time at nursery must come to an end.
It hardly seems like any time ago that we were preparing ourselves for your start. I can’t tell you how hard it was to let you go. I had been your constant. I was your carer all day, every day for a whole year. But my maternity leave had come to an end and I had to let other people care for you. Did that make me a bad mother? I constantly questioned the decisions I made and I knew that regardless of the turmoil I felt inside I could not let you see this.
I am so glad that it was your dad who did drop offs, as with the tears in the early days I don’t think I could have let you go. It was hard enough picking you up, wiping the tears away from your eyes as you crawled over to me as fast as you possibly could when you saw that I had arrived. I would pick you up and you would give me the tightest cuddle, like you never wanted me to leave you again. As happy as it made me seeing you, there was a pang of sadness that I had made you feel like this.
However, on most occasions I saw you before you saw me. I saw the smiles and the giggles. Watched you having fun playing with these new and different toys, listening to stories and having cuddles with the nursery staff. I knew that those few moments at the start and end of the day weren’t the norm. When the staff told me about all the fun you had had during the day I believed them. You would have made the most of all the activities on offer to you – switching from messy play, stories, games, dressing up, baking and playing outside – something that I just couldn’t match whilst retaining my sanity. Nursery was good for you.
Then of course there were all the friendships you have made, both children and staff. I have seen so many of your friends grow up with you and now you are all going your separate ways. Starting different schools. I know you will make new friends but I do hope some of those early friendships remain. I want to see you all growing up, sharing experiences and then think back to that time when you were all so young playing together, learning about how friendships work. And as for the adults at nursery, I don’t think I could have asked for a better group of people to take care of you. For the last three and a half years they have been more than just a substitute for me whilst I have been at work. They have made sure you were cared for for every moment you were with them, supported your physical, social, emotional and intellectual development, encouraged you to eat all the foods that you still refuse to eat at home and ensured you had lots of fun. Most importantly they made sure that you are ready for school, even if it means leaving them.
You are ready for school. You are ready to leave nursery. I know you will miss it. A new chapter in your life has begun and with it comes change. It is OK to feel sad as you say goodbye. I will be too. These wonderful women have had such an impact on your life so far, they have influenced how you have developed and help mould you into the person you are today. The joy I feel from seeing my happy, confident, funny little girl is a reflection of the time and energy they have devoted to you.
We will wipe away our tears as we leave together, and when they have gone we will remember that your time at nursery was the foundations on which the next part of your life is built.