Tissue time
Tissue time
Parent24 Editor, Scott Dunlop
The check lists are all being ticked off, and the excitement is building up. Some of you are first-time parents of school-going kids, and some of you are veterans- but there’s always something remarkable about the first day of the new school year- the sense that your child is stepping into their own history book once more after a summer of the smells of chlorine and sun block.

Parents never forget that day their children staggered into class for the first time, tiny Sherpas with loaded backpacks while moms and dads fuss and pluck nervously at uniform collars sticking up or stray hairs which have escaped pompoms, fretfully rolling damp tissues in their hands as they conceal their own tears.

Yes, that first day is momentous: the careful navigation as you discover the best routes to school and the return to the government of The Clock, that relentless force which hustles us through breakfasts and bath times.

It’s like standing at the foothills of a mountain, the peak of which is lost in the clouds. It’s almost impossible to imagine this person who suddenly seems so much smaller in a school uniform as a gangly teen furrowing his brow as he jiggles his knees nervously, Matric exams looming.

You want to hike alongside your child, but you have to follow discreetly. Allowing them to march further and further away from you, ever more independent.

Curiously, the higher they get, the faster time passes. By the time they reach high school you realise just how short a school career is.

And we remain at Base Camp; a safe place for our children to return every day from their adventures. We help mend their wounds and plan their next forays into the world. We encourage and inspire them, and sometimes we just have fun.

Whether you’re looking up at the whole mountain, or your child is somewhere in the mists approaching the summit, we wish you and your kids the very best sort of school year. May their teachers be professional and caring, and every challenge overcome.

If your child struggles with school, whether academically or socially, we hope you find the resources as parents to keep on cheering them on and applauding every tiny advance made.

Awesome parents, well done in advance for the year ahead!

Don’t forget, we have some helpful tips for you if you’re feeling swamped and worried you’re missing some crucial information, and you could even win something to make the start of the year even more exciting! Check out our Back to School page for more.

 If you’re taking first day back to school pictures, why not share them with us. Email: chatback@parent24.com

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