J broke up from nursery school this Friday and I have just spent the weekend organising his uniform for the start of reception in September. It is hard to believe, but my son is on the verge of the single biggest transition of his little life. It will be the first time he will be away from me for hours on end, five days in a row. How will my little J cope? Quite well, I think. How will I cope, I do not know.
I do not know what J remembers of his first four years of life. I know he has terrific recall. He can tell me things that happened over a year ago with infinite detail, things that have slipped my consciousness. But he never lets on to what he remembers about his mother from his early days. Just as I cannot give him details about his last four years without help from photo or diary prompts. Perhaps he, like me, refreshes that picture on a minute-by-minute basis given that we are in constant collusion with each other, every waking minute of every day.
One thing I do know is this. I want my son to look back and remember this summer for all the right reasons. I want it to be a summer of doing things we both love and enjoy, from lazy pyjama days to chasing bubbles in the garden.
There will be days out visiting places, doing things. We will have our walking holiday as planned. But most of all, all I want is to spend time with my little boy, just him and me, mum and son. A time spent building an enduring and endearing friendship. A time spent bonding over everything and nothing. A time without structure, with no regrets and no wistful longings.
A time of building memories. Memories of being together, where we play together and laugh together. Where he talks and I listen.
Memories that we can both cherish and look back on with happy smiles. Memories of these last few days before school begins.