Clicking Confirm

This week, we applied for our eldest child's place at school (she will start in August).

Gone are the days of trudging back and forth to the prospective school with bits of paper. It's all done online now. We applied from my phone. The website said it would take twenty minutes, but it was closer to three (and one of those was me whimpering, "I don't wanna!").

It was a bit of an anticlimax.

Steve and I felt like we both had to be there to fill in the form. This, despite only one of us being named on it. She's our child and we both needed to be there, to click the button on her future.

Neither of us wanted to do it alone.

Neither of us wanted to do it at all, really, but I did want to just GET IT OVER WITH ALREADY and so I was the one who typed in the letters and numbers.

It felt like such a huge thing to do. Our first baby will be starting school. She's practically leaving home, or so it feels to us.

And we weren't entirely certain about which school we should apply to.

I used to tut and roll my eyes at parents who thought so much schools. You bung them to the closest one, whatevs. I know it's different elsewhere, but in Scotland you have a zoned school and you stick to it, unless there's a damned good reason not to.

Some schools, there are damned good reasons not to.

We only hear positive things about our local school, though. We even know some of the teachers socially and hear positive things from them. But, short of borrowing a Delorian, we're not going to believe that any school's good enough until she's spent seven full years there and come out of it (relatively) unscathed.

So we did consider alternatives.

Alternatives involve expensive bus passes and excessive travel times and our child not making local friends and us not having people we can call on to pick up our kid in an emergency.

We ruled out the alternatives; we've applied within zone.

On my phone. In under three minutes.

But, when we clicked to confirm, all it generated was an email response. No little hand emerged from the screen, brandishing glasses of bubbly wine. Nobody gave us tissues or cake. There weren't even animated fireworks.

There's no ceremony to an online application, and ceremony felt important for our firstborn child.

CONGRATULATIONS! the screen could have done with reading, You've signed your child into the machine. (And it will probably be just fine)