In preparation for next month, we bought this book for Spiderboy, it’s a lovely book and has a section on how to dress yourself, what to remember to do when you’ve been to the toilet, shapes, colours, numbers, letters etc.
I don’t want to boast too much (actually I do), but Spiderboy knows it all. He can write and read basic words. He is intellectually bright, and he is physically very capable.
But he’s not ready for September. And it got me thinking, what does he need to know before he starts school? If I could write my own version, it would go something like this:
- You are loved. Unconditionally. I will always be thinking of you when you’re at school. I will always be loving you, and missing you. And I will always be there to collect you after.
- You are special. You are clever and kind and talented. But none of that matters because what makes you most special is that you are mine. And so whatever you do at school, you will always be the most important, most special boy to me.
- You are safe. Because of number 1 and number 2, I would never leave you somewhere that you weren’t safe. Your teachers do not want to hurt you, they don’t want to take you away. I trust them, so you can too.
- You are strong. The world has not been kind to you. Maybe no one else in your class will be able to understand this. But you know that life isn’t fair. And you are a stronger, braver person because of that.
The other children in Spiderboy’s class may not be able to fasten buttons, or write their names, but I’m pretty sure they won’t have trouble with the above. But for my beautiful boy, these things do not come naturally. Early life experiences have taught him quite the opposite. And yet, in two weeks he goes, ready or not.
If I could only help him start to believe these things before then, none of the other stuff matters. He may look to be at an advantage to the other children in his class. But buttons and letters are much easier to learn than trust and a sense of self worth.