Connor, aged 4.5 years. Picture taken 21 Aug 2013
Connor started school on 21 Aug. A few days before, I ironed his newly bought school uniforms - white polo shirts and grey trousers. I remember my mum doing the same for us until we were old enough to iron our own uniforms. We'd just returned from a long weekend away in Liverpool where we'd bought his black school shoes and the plimsolls for gym at the Clarks outlet store in Cheshire Oaks. I packed his green school bag with a snack box and his PE kit bag. Being Malaysian, I am accustomed to school bags bursting at the seams with books so I was a little doubtful when I realised there was not much else to go in his bag.
The next morning, I woke up at 6am to get everything ready. Breakfast for my little man was toast with Nutella, a mug of hot chocolate and a half-boiled egg. The half-boiled eggs are a complete mystery to my husband but they mean a lot to me. My mum would make us half-boiled eggs every morning before we went off to school. It was her way of saying "I love you". And so I make them for my little boy every morning before he goes to school, just like my mum did for my brothers and me.
I took this pic on our front doorstep before we got into the car. Connor doesn't realise it but this is effectively the end of carefree childhood for him. From now on, this is serious school. You can't just skip a week because Mummy and Daddy want to take you for a fun trip to Barcelona as you can in nursery.
At school, there were plenty of parents armed with cameras and smartphones, ready to record this moment. Our little ones ran about in the school playground while we parents stood around and chatted about how our summer holidays went.
Finally, the school bell rang and all the older kids, who'd been through this before, ran up and lined up patiently. Our little ones however were perplexed. I guided Connor into one line and gave him a goodbye kiss and hug.
The teachers all came out and we had a little welcome back speech from the head. Then class by class, our children all marched off into school.
I watched my son walk off with the rest. I caught it on video. He was carrying his bag and he seemed happy enough to follow everyone else. I felt proud and happy that he wasn't nervous but at the same time, I felt really emotional. It didn't seem that long ago that he was holding my hand learning to walk in the compound of our housing area in Kemang, Jakarta. I still remember that day, he was about 10 months old or so and I had decided to take him out for a walk. He was cackling away with glee at being allowed out and I remember I had to lean over a little to hold his hand because he was so little. It was such a happy day and such a happy memory for me.
When I watched him walk away, I knew he wasn't just walking into school. I knew he was also walking away from his babyhood and I knew I would never have those times back again. I felt like a part of me walked away into school with him.
I'm so glad I was lucky enough to have spent the past 4.5 years having him all to myself. I got to see every milestone, I got to kiss away every tear. It was just Mummy and Connor for so long. I was there for everything and he was my whole world until his little brother came along and my whole world expanded.
Goodbye my baby. I know you'll love school.
Be a good boy, listen to teacher and have fun.
And when school ends, Mummy will be right out here waiting for you.