You Can't Stop Them Growing Up

by Adam Riches

As a dad, you can miss a lot of milestones. The first word, first steps, first laughs…but not all firsts are things that you’ll be gutted about missing. Our little boy had his first day at nursery last week and it’s one first that I feel in no way neglected for missing,

Nursery is one of those things that you know is just going to be a nightmare or a breeze. For us, we’ve always known that the first few sessions were going to be Armageddon. Not only from the boy, but also in terms of our emotions.

In the build-up, it’s all rainbows and butterflies. Everyone is positive, it’s going to be amazing the whole concept seems like such a great idea. I mean he even packed his own bag, I thought he was ready to move out!

But come the morning of the first day, it dawned on me that my little boy is growing up. It sounds like a strange thing to say, but it’s really crept up on me and from the (blow by blow) reports, I’m glad I was at work when he had his first-ever drop-off. I’m certainly not the soft type, but I’m not sure if I’d have been able to leave the little bugger.

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He’s totally ready for nursery, but the concept alone is something that has really caught me by surprise. Of course, he needs to get used to all of the social conventions of, well, life, but that feeling of letting your kid go into the big bad world is a huge deal. Up to this point, his mum and I have been his sole protectors, the only ones (apart from grandparents and close friends) to really influence his little, innocent head.

I think the thing is having that trust that someone else is looking after your little one as well as you would be and the of them fitting in. The thought of them just being another child in a room of children is something that really pulls on my heartstrings. They need space to grow though and that’s never going to feel comfortable.

Luckily, the first session wasn’t a total shit show. I mean the way my wife recalled the event, I couldn’t really tell if it was positive or negative. She was so emotional about it that I’m not sure if she knew if the boy was that bothered or not. All I know is that when I got home from work, he’s never looked so excited to see me.

The whole thing with new experiences is that it opens up chapters and exposes you to feelings that you haven’t had before. It’s the same for kids. Every day they are changing and as an apparent, you need to embrace that change and not fear it. Whether it’s nursery, school or a job, it’s now dawned on me that I’m in for a lifetime of worry and heartache when it comes to our bairn…. but those cuddles at the end of the day make it all worthwhile.


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Written by

Adam Riches

Blogger & Teacher
Being a parent isn’t something you can ever truly prepare for (no matter how many things you read about!) I don’t think I’ll ever really get it right, but that’s what being a parent is all about for me - effectively winging it and being totally ok with just doing your best at being a dad. I’m stumbling through life as a dad of one and between extracting coco pops from my son’s nose and trying to persuade him that dinosaurs aren’t going to get him at night, I write a bit and I teach a lot.

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