It's not very often the planets align, time allows, motivation strikes and the kids feel like playing ball that I get to take my very own kids for a proper photoshoot. It's more the odd "stand here and test this new backdrop for me Euna..." or "Oh! This would make a good picture if you both weren't in scruffy clothes and it was a better time of day and YOU BOTH ACTUALLY FELT LIKE LOOKING AT THE CAMERA!!"
But Euna's school start is looming and it's hard not to feel all "the end is nigh!" over it. So I'm inhaling and savouring these last few summer months where she is all mine. I will say though, I've been pretty cool about it. I did not stay up until midnight for her placement announcement, I woke up, normal time and pretty casually looked at the email. We got what we wanted and we were confident we would. She's confident (to say the least), she communicates her needs well, she's social, she responds really well to teachers/leaders in other settings and she pretty much loves everything that class time is going to consist of.
But yesterday she drew a heart on her magnetic drawing board and then on that heart she drew a face and around it she drew hair and a body coming off the bottom.
"Who's that Euna?" I wait for "you Mummy", smug, she loves me.
"It's my new teacher at big school"
"She's got a heart on her face because she is so so so special. She's going to be my special big school teacher." She launches in to a bit of a monologue about just how special she is, I don't know where this has come from. We've barely talked about it but it's a preschool day and she's probably overheard something.
Oh God. Oh God. OhGodohgodohGodohGod. All I can think is I don't even know this woman and my daughter, my preciously, perfectly, wonderful tiny human, that I made and I changed everything for because she was and is so crazy-bonkers-brilliant, could break her heart. OhGodohgodohGodohGod.
And I'm reading the petitions, the articles and the "Dear Nicky Morgan..."-s and I'm remembering my own stint in teaching and recalling nothing but feelings of being overwhelmed. I'm thinking oh please Mrs Special-Heart-Face don't break her heart. I know you have it tough. I know you have these pressures. I know you probably fundamentally really love children and root for all good things for them but I know you're a human being. Oh Mrs Special-Heart-Face please be brave for her. Right now she's just right amount of wild and I really don't want her tamed. Because I've spent 4 years carting my child to the woods, the zoo, the park, soft play, community play groups, nature classes, creative dance classes, singing classes and gymnastics. I've sat home for hours drawing, sticking, smooshing playdoh and even braved a couple of baking afternoons. This isn't a good mum brag because a lot of mums do it and frankly I'm 31, a former master of the tequila slammer, a pretty creative swearer and all round good laugh girl and not all of this is my idea of fun. But I did it all because this is what's widely recognised as good ways for babies/young children to get to know the world and practise functioning in it.
So please be brave Mrs Special-Heart-Face, we need you to be brave and show me that all this Nicky Morgan-ing, all the data, all the politics and all the bull&@£$ doesn't matter to you. She will love you so so easily. She will take any opportunity to love school. So please just be aware of that. I don't need you to make her a genius or a top set for anything. I don't need her to go to grammar school. I just need her to stay so easily in love with the world and just the right amount of wild that makes people in supermarkets say to me "she's spirited/a handful/hilarious!"
I'm going to shallow breathe in to my coffee now and possibly order a days worth of calories in a muffin whilst offering up prayers to the school Gods. Because I'm blogging in Costa and I'm one of those blotchy criers.
Are your kids due to start a new school this September? How do you feel?
And here they are... In the Bluebells... Not a care in the world... Because that's the awesome thing about being 4 and 2, you so very rarely worry about anything at all...
If you would like to know more about my photography services in and around Essex and Suffolk, including child portraits, please see my website or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org