I’m preparing myself for Quinns starting primary school. I’ve got the school uniforms sorted, the school bag featuring Cars is bought and the lunch bag is ready for its daily flask of hot soup. Practical issues aside I’m trying to get my head around him being out of the house five days a week!
Four weeks after Quinns was born Big Sister started school. Constantly during her first term and his first six months she asked what primary would she be in when Quinns started school. P6 we would answer. “P2?” ’P7’, “P3?” ‘S1’ and so on. Periodically over the last five years she would ask again and we’d go through all the variations for her. Now we’ve reached P1/ P6 it is in no way how we pictured it.
Before covid hit I never really thought about Quinns being vulnerable but five months of shielding him has made me far more aware than I’d like. We are only now beginning to surface from our bubble and are very quickly having to adjust to the outside world again before the massive leap of school.
It’s frustrating hearing that most kids will be fine if they get covid. Quinns is not most children. Even although shielding has stopped there still remains a higher chance of him being seriously ill if he catches it.
As his mum I want to wrap him up and keep him safe even although I know that’s not in his best interests. I get really angry when people suggest a blanket exclusion of us and other ‘vulnerable’ people from society so that everyone else can just get on with their lives.
Quinns is the reason we must all continue to take the risk seriously and follow the guidance. He’s already excluded from the ‘most children aren’t at risk category’. I don’t want him to be excluded from school and his right to an education. He is just like any five year old. He has the same rights to education, to life, to everything including seeing his friends at school.
I do worry sometimes that maybe I am being over cautious and over protective but I think if he was your child you would be too.
All things considered provided the numbers are low enough we won’t keep him home and deny him his first day at school excitement. It may not be exactly what we were planning for but at least the same can be said for all the children starting school this year.