A fond farewell

Last week we faced a strange day, one that Robbie had been full of anticipation for and as much as he enjoyed his graduation day at nursery we were all left feeling a little sad when it was over.

Of course we all get older and change is inevitable, my hairline is proof of that. Whilst we are all excitedly counting down the days until Robbie can get stuck into primary school, leaving behind his nursery still feels like a pretty sad occasion for us.

There is good reason for this. Robbie started early at Chestnut Grove nursery and was only nine months old when he joined their baby room. He immediately fell in love with the place and has kept a level of excitement for every ’school day’ since.

Though he has only ever been to nursery for two days a week he talks about both his school friends and his teachers every day. He proudly shows off his artwork and sings us rhymes that he has learnt. It’s very clear he has enjoyed every minute of his time there.

The graduation ceremony itself was wonderful. We were so proud to see Robbie march in to the room dressed up in full graduation kit. He was the first off his group to be announced and to walk in to see his class transformed to an auditorium full of proud parents looking on. He handled it all remarkably well and was full of confidence once he spotted us sitting in the crowd.

Then came the songs. I suspect these were meant to be a little surprise to the parents on the day but Robbie had been singing them to us for weeks and as such we knew every word, even if we acted as though it was a shock. Perhaps Robbie’s voice stood out due to a paternal instinct to recognise it in the choir but he certainly seemed to be one of the loudest and most confident members of the group. He doesn’t get that from me!

Proudly smiling at Nursery graduation ceremony

Once the ceremony was over we were able to get a few snacks, have a play on the bouncy castle and even get Robbie’s face painted. There was plenty to do and it really was a lovely send off for all the kids taking the next leap in their school careers.

It wasn’t really until we got home and were able to take a look through his leaving books that Chestnut Grove had given us that it really started to sink in. The books had everything from pictures of his first day through to his last ever painted handprint in nursery and it really showed the change from the baby we dropped off on day one to the child that is leaving now.

Obviously, Robbie has none of this emotion quite yet and doesn’t really get what all the fuss is about. He can’t wait to get to big school but does not seem to have fully grasped that this means leaving behind his nursery. He is always a little confused when we tell him which of his friends will be joining him and which will be leaving to other schools. We have not even got started with how he will not be seeing the same teachers he has built such a bond with over the years.

This is perhaps the hardest part of it all. The teachers at Chestnut Grove have been incredible for Robbie over the years and have played such a huge role in making him the boy he is today. As a single child who has grown up through lockdowns and social distancing, Robbie’s main time to interact with other kids and learn much of his social behaviour has been under the supervision of these teachers and they must take huge credit for the (Usually) polite and well mannered boy that is leaving.

Luckily for us, many of his best friends in the class will be joining him at the same primary school. Of course there are some that he will be saying a fond farewell to but we hope that perhaps their paths will cross again some day.

Although he has now officially graduated, Robbie still has a few more days left at nursery and a chance to say his goodbyes. His mum and I have the chance too and we are both keen to thank everyone at Chestnut Grove for all they have done for our family. Every single teacher there has always been an absolute pleasure to talk and they have been so accommodating even when we have had to change around his days or hours. They have constantly kept us up to date with everything that we needed to know too and I really could not find a single fault with anything at the nursery in over three years, which really is quite impressive considering what a moany old man I am.

So all that is left is to say thank you. We wish the nursery and all of the team the very best for the future and they will always hold a special place in Robbie’s heart.

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