A few months ago my hubby and I diligently sat down and filled out The Form! If you have children starting school in September 2017, then you will know exactly what Form I am referring to! The dreaded school places form.
We had figured out our priority order a long time prior – we live abroad so did all our school tours in June 2016, so we had definitly made our minds up by the time the application process was open.
We sent the form away and waited.
To be honest I was pretty good at putting the whole thing to the back of my mind. Which, I hasten to add, is most unlike me.
However, life just took over and I had so many other things to worry about – moving / children / work / blog – that I actually managed to forget about it for a while.
We were told that in our Borough we would get told our school choices at 5pm on April 18th.
However, browsing Facebook the evening before and I started to see posts from other mums saying they had been told their choice early!
Quick get the laptop fired up and check. But… nada! No school places confirmed yet.
On the day of the 18th, I woke up early to check again. Still nothing. The day kind of went like that, all day I saw messages from people finding out early but not our council, it looked like they were going to send the messages out bang on time.
So at 5pm that day I sat at the laptop, logged in and waited. Still nothing. Then my hubby reminded me that, as we are living abroad, there is a time difference.
So we waited another long and painful hour. Then 6pm rolled around – 5pm in the UK – and, you guessed it, nothing.
I waited and refreshed constantly for half an hour. Then I got a text from my friend saying to check as she could see the the places confirmed for her little boy.
My hand trembled as we opened the link.
I was so overwhelmed with emotion I started with the ugly tears. You know the kind where you can’t take a breath and it takes you by surprise.
In that single moment I realised that this was it. My babies are growing up. Starting school. Moving one step closer to independence.
The school the boys got were their second choice.
Which we also were very happy with, so accepted straight away. However, we did have a pang of disappointment that we didn’t get the first choice. Especially as the first choice would be the same school that my friends child got into, we were all hoping for a small miracle but it was not to be.
We are right on the edge of the teeny tiny catchment area for the first choice, so we always thought it was a long shot.
We had no chance of getting in there, we told ourselves.
Then a few weeks later hubby had an email from school admissions.
It said “please find enclosed your new offer letters’. At the time, he thought: “could it be?” Well the answer to that question is apparently YES!
After the May recalibration the boys got into our top choice. Their favourite school. The ‘long shot’.
To say we are thrilled is an understatement.
I think I have checked the email a hundred times – just to be sure!
The upshot is we are one of the lucky ones, to live in a busy London borough and get our top choice of school.
So, with all the drama I have just about managed to pull it together again for now.
Who knows what I will be like on that first day – ugly crying in front of the new teachers and the school mums?
Let’s hope I can keep it together until I get out of the school gates.
When I walk out of those school gates though, I can’t think of anyone better to be standing by our side, than our wonderful friends!
We feel so thankful to be sharing this next journey with them.