Today I am a ticking timebomb, my emotions are anyway.
I can feel them bubbling away in my tummy, in my eyes, in my head, in my heart, waiting for the moment to come when I can't hold it in any longer.

Maybe to some I am over-reacting. That's fine. But I feel sorry that they haven't had this positive experience that we have for the past 11 months.

Charles almost didn't go to this preschool. We had his name down at a nursery within a school, but as it was out of catchment we didn't get a place. So I phoned this preschool and despite a huge waiting list we were given a place.
I am so thankful that he didn't get a place at the nursery. He may have enjoyed it, but I can't see him having the same experience he has had the past 11 months.
He settled in so well. Made friends quickly. And instantly had a crush on a couple of the staff members, which for one evolved into him having his first love.
He adores her. He giggles at the sight of her and when you mention her name.
He talks about her a lot, and always asks if she will be there. He looks out for her car as soon as we pull up, and if she isn't there he asks where she is or decides himself what she must be doing (shopping, at home having lunch etc).

In the whole time he has been there we have had no tears at me leaving him, only tears at me collecting him 15 minutes early once!
Every single day he has been excited to go, excited to see his friends, excited to see the staff, excited to see the activites they have out, excited to learn new things.

He has learnt so much there. Walking in all parents see are tables of various toys and activities, and it's easy to say "I could keep them at home to play with toys!" but within each toy, each activity, is a learning process.
Shapes, colours, how can we build things, what does that look like, how can we use that.
He has learnt more at preschool than I could have taught him by keeping him at home.

I felt such guilt at first by sending him for the full 15 hours we are allocated with funding. Was I being too hasty at pushing him away for such a long time? Would I regret him going there everyday?
Looking back. I absolutely have no regrets at all.
He has loved every.single.minute there and if I had sent him for less than 15 hours I'm sure I would have asked to increase them as he would be begging to go everyday, he would go at the weekend if he could!
I know that if I hadn't sent him for all of this time, or even at all, that he wouldn't have had any other interaction with other children, because of the lack of groups around.
I felt jealous of these ladies who would be spending this time with MY son, enjoying things with him, having fun with him, listening to his laughter and giggles, and comforting him if he hurt himself. All these things I thought only I should experience, and do with him.
Now I am glad and proud that other people have been able to share my son (not sure how else to phrase that!) and to spend this time with him. I am glad that he has been able to laugh and giggle with other adults.
I love that he has been able to build his confidence, and although he is shy with other people I am glad of that (stranger danger) and I like that he wants people to make an effort to be his friend.

Today is his last day.
The day we say goodbye to his amazing keyworker, the brilliant staff members, who have all been such a big part of his life since September last year.
Although Harry will be starting there next year (September 2014) Charles won't be there at all, and this is where my sadness lies.
It has seemed like such a short time that he has been there, and it feels as though we are cutting it short. And although he is ready to move on, to learn new things, and be around children who are his age and not a mixutre of two and half-almost 5 year olds) I am sad that he is leaving this environment that he is so comfortable and confident within.

This week has already been full of tears from me. Yesterday as I queued to sign him out my eyes were full of tears. I kept my head down so no one would notice, trying to calm myself down and 'get over it'. And then a voice shouted across the room "Mummy, why are you so sad?".
Everyone then noticed, we all said "awwwww" and we all laughed. Except my laughing turned to sobbing.

I wish I didn't have to do this. But I know I have to.
There is no way to stop it. It has to happen, and I have to cope.
But tears are fine. Crying is ok.
And I would rather be sad about him leaving than glad.
I'm delighted that we are able to leave with nothing but happy memories. And that in years to come when we talk about his school life I can start the story with this.
A happy time.
A time we have all loved, and will forever hold in our hearts.

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