My youngest started school last week and it’s been tough. She’s ready to go but I’m still not sure I’m ready for her to go.

It was hard when my eldest started – she’s now in year three – she looked so small and I worried that she wouldn’t make friends, that it was a big leap from nursery to school, that she’d miss the friendships she’d made, that she wouldn’t enjoy it. But there were no tears (maybe a couple from me) and she settled in well, making friends and having fun learning and ‘doing arty crafts’.

Youngest daughter is more strong-willed than her sister and used to standing up for herself. She’s always been one of the ringleaders whenever there’s been trouble at nursery (we’re talking food fights and encouraging general disobedience) but is smart and learns quickly. So I should feel more confident about her starting school right?

If you’re a parent you’ll get there’s no logic to this. This morning I watched her going hand in hand with her sister up to the counter at breakfast club to order her toast, knowing she was safe and happy, but still wanted to grab her and hug her tightly and not let her go.

When the eldest started school, one of my mum friends posted a poem on Facebook. I forget what it was called but it talked about the first day at school being the first step in letting your child go into the big wide world on their own. It stuck with me.

And tonight I’m going to smile and laugh and ask questions as both girls tell me about the amazing things they’ve done at school, the funny things that happened and what they’ve learnt, but a little bit of me is sad as I know this is the first step in letting them go.