I hope she’s not thinking about me as much as I am about her

My dear Sophie 5 and three quarters

My beautiful, free spirited, energetic, bright young Sophie. I love you with all my heart, as I do Charlotte and Alice. You probably won’t understand the depth of my love for you until you are much, much older. But a parent will do anything for their child’s happiness.

When you started school at the beginning of this year you were so happy. You came home jumping with excitement and enthusiasm. Full of the joy of learning to read and write.

The second term was a drastic, sad and upsetting change. You became riddled with anxiety and didn’t want to go to school. You’d changed classes and had been put in a smaller classroom with double the number of children. Your bright little personality felt squashed to the core. There wasn’t the challenges and mental stimulation you crave. Though we tried to make it work, it simply didn’t. We were heartbroken to see you so upset. In the end we withdrew you from school, knowing we had time on our hands (legally you didn’t need to be in school till the age of 6).

You’ve been at home for five months now. In that time the anxiety has slowly gone, though you are still sleeping on a single bed in our room – and that’s absolutely fine with us – you were in our bed for a while. Thankfully the multiple visits to the toilet have curtailed – morning and night you felt you needed to go, all the time, such was the state of your nerves.

Now we feel ready to try to reintroduce you to school, but somewhere different. Your big sister, Charlotte, has been a term at the school you’ll be going to and we have NEVER seen her so happy at school. She has attended every single day this term, with enthusiasm and energy. She comes home bouncing and full of talk of her day. In the past, she missed so many days that it totaled up to nearly a term off in the year! She would come home lethargic and sometimes aggressive. She rarely spoke about her school day. Her spirit seemed quashed. Of course she had some happy days and made some wonderful friends, whom she keeps in touch with and still sees regularly. It wasn’t entirely doom and gloom. But the transformation in her this term, in her new school, has been remarkable.

So, today you are on a ‘trial’ day with the class you’ll be in, should you feel it’s right for you. As you said, in your typically wise way, ‘I am happy at home, but I think this will be a great opportunity for me.’. And your love for Alice is so strong that a few hours apart each day won’t damage that bond. You’ve had a wonderful few months together. She adores you, as she does Charlotte.

Technology loving sisters!

You are such an outwardly confident, chatty, energetic person (though very fragile in the centre). You love sport and this school will give you such a great range of sporting experiences. There’s specialist music and art teachers. The music department is amazing. You’ll learn in a school that is part of the global community, learning languages like French.

Our reasoning for choosing this school is not because we expect greatness from you, we simply want you to be happy. This is a school that recognizes and nurtures the individual personality, that provides opportunities for you to follow your passions and the facilities and resources to excel in areas you choose. We love you just as you are and think you are great!

I’m thinking of you every moment of this seemingly long day. Alice is pottering around near me as I type. I’m missing your constant chatter and ideas – though it’s peaceful too x I know you understand. I have a vision of you laughing and making friends. I see you playing tag, which you love, because you have a number of willing people to play with you. I hope you’re not thinking about Alice and I too much. I hope you are far too busy!

Mummy and Alice at 19 months

And don’t worry, there’ll still be plenty of hours in the day for playing together after school. And didn’t we have fun this weekend at the pool together?! Weekends are such magic, golden family time.

Fun at the pool one rainy Sunday

And as soon as the sea warms up a little, and the spring southerly winds have eased up, I have a boogie board with your name on it! x It won’t be long now before you are running in and out of the surf!

Sophie and Alice paddling in rock pools