His legs are long and lanky now, not the sturdy legs of a four year old when he first pulled his grey trousers on to go to school.
He wears a tie and a blazer and looks like a grown up. His school shoes no longer have ‘bumpers’ or velcro straps. They’re men shoes.
I lament the loss of my little boy but marvel at the young man in front of me.
He started senior school this week. Year 9.
Sunday night, I hover around his room wanting to get involved. He doesn’t need me but I’m feeling the need to be needed.
I fold a piece of kit here and there. Pretend I’m directing the proceedings but I’m just a hanger on really.
On Sunday he puts his uniform on for a test run. We have to pop into school for the afternoon with all the other boys in the year and the parents.
He looks amazing. I feel an overwhelming sense of emotion and pretend to go downstairs to fetch something, because honestly, this feels worse than that day in reception when he looked too small to spend the day in a classroom.
Now he’s too big. He’s growing up so fast. Where has that little boy in Reception gone?
I feel the past eight years of his school life rush at me; the disappointments, the tears, the joys, the Big Decisions.
Dan is now a senior school pupil. The next phase in his schooling starts now. The GCSE years. Everything gets serious from this moment forward.
And I feel as emotional now watching him disappear through the school gates with a huge rucksack on his back as I did eight years ago when he left my side to go to Reception.