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Friday, 21 July 2017

End of an era

Small daughter finishes at her primary school today.  We've had a week of parties, performances, assemblies and tonight there's a prom - they're certainly going out with a bang!  After today, my connection with this primary school that both my girls attended is over and if it wasn’t in an area that’s great for dog walking then I might not even go back there.  Part of me is delighted, as I know that small daughter is more than ready to move on to high school, but another part is a little sad as small daughter is becoming less small every day.  We can’t make our children stay little forever, and nor should we want to, but it is a strange moment when it hits you that they are growing up.

Small daughter is also excited and a little sad.  She’s spent time at her new high school and is looking forward to the challenges that it’s going to bring.  She’s ready to be stretched in her subjects, to learn more about the world and what’s going on around her; the school puts an emphasis on being aware of current affairs as well as curriculum subjects as they (wisely) say that there’s no point in students leaving with a fistful of exam certificates and no awareness of what’s going on in the world.  She’s ready to make new friends although she intends to stay in touch with her old class.  They’re already swapping phone numbers and getting ready to write messages to other all over their school t-shirts (a tradition in this school that stretches back to when big daughter was there and even before).  When small daughter has done the same time again in this new school, she’ll be heading for university (if that’s what she wants to do) and big daughter – well, big daughter will be a grown woman with a life of her own by then.  It’s not something that I like to think about too closely.  My chicks are spreading their wings and already I can see them moving ever closer to the edge of the nest.

Not all of us are great at change.  I know that I’m not; I need time to think about what’s happening and how it’s going to make life different.  I always know that life will be better because I believe that every situation in our life is designed in some way to improve it even if we can’t see it at the time, but that doesn’t make it any easier when we’re faced with events that are both expected and unexpected.  It’s going to take time to adjust to this new life where small daughter has a phone and a key and knows which bus to get on.  I’m not quite sure that I’m ready for that so I am grateful that we have the school holidays to spend time together whilst I get to know this new, confident person.  And perhaps have to find a new blog name for her.  Small daughter is growing up. 


20 comments:

  1. We have two of those signed school jumpers somewhere tucked away - never to be looked at by those so desperate to get their friends names immortalised! Good luck to your younger daughter with her new school and all the perks of growing up that come with it (keys, bus pass....).

    Luckily, children don't change dramatically over night, just a little every day, and you'll have time to adjust :-) It is exiting and difficult at the same time, seeing them spread their wings, readying themselves for their own adult lives. Enjoy your holidays! We have passed the halfway mark now, phew. xx

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    1. Thank you. I know that in a few weeks it will all seem quite normal (in fact, even now as the holidays start it feels less strange) but you do wonder where the time goes! xx

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  2. My "babies" are 34 and 29 and married, but they're still my babies! It's true what they say, once a mother, always a mother. It doesn't matter how old they (or you) are. Just be glad that you've obviously done a good job with them in that they are confident, responsible people, ready to take on the challenges ahead. Enjoy this new phase in your life - you'll soon get used to it - promise!

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    1. I hope so! I think the strange thing is completely breaking the connection with the primary school this time, but of course we have already done this with playgroups and pre-school ... it's just that this one seems much bigger as we've been at that school for such a long time! xx

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  3. Just had a FB moment with a picture of my three from five years ago! oldest was 18, middle and other half in picture were 16 and the baby who still gets called the baby was 14, baby well he is now 19 and coming up for 20, the rest are adults, and that is a shock! time is measured in grown ups and comments of your how old! Enjoy your small daughter, they do grow as you older daughter has already shown :-)

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    1. Yes, you are right of course. I guess that in the day-to-day chaos of school runs and after-school clubs you don't notice the time passing but once that stops ... I'm sure I'll adjust to not having to do the school run very well! xx

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  4. It IS good to be slow in change. So change is even more substancial. At least that's what I experienced over many years in my own life. And it is true, what Christina said, children don't grow all of a sudden. With me actually living each day and realizing the small steps, the moving away of my 'dearest, once nearest' was less threatening.

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    1. They are wise words, thank you, and have reminded me that we have adapted to big daughter being at university more easily than I thought we would. High school will be a breeze! (maybe :) ) xx

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  5. I enjoyed my two as young teenagers actually I am still enjoying them as 20 23 year olds I think it is great we go places together and want to spend time together, as parents we must have done something right. Ps I do enjoy me time too and empty house is bliss!

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    1. They are lovely words, Heidi, and I'm so pleased that you have such a great relationship with your children. You're quite right, too - I've never been one to say that I wish my girls were still babies but I think the milestone moments do make you stop and think xx

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  6. I hope Small Daughter enjoyed her prom last night. I remember the last few weeks when my two were leaving primary school, there was such a lot going on, though they didn't have proms at junior school when then left, there were plenty of other things happening though. I know my two were ready to move on to secondary school but I still shed a few tears when they left, it's a big adjustment for parents as well as kids, though I think you soon get in to the swing of a new routine. Enjoy the summer holidays now before the next change comes along in September.

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  7. I don't have a signed jumper but I do have a folder from school that was signed by class mates at senior school and then again by college friends. Am back in contact with lots of them since Facebook.

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    1. The internet is fabulous for that kind of thing and I think that's when it works at it's best. You'll be getting to know these people again as adults but the shared history gives you a head start; the best kind of friendships sometimes! xx

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  8. I know the feeling. Our eldest granddaughter also said goodbye to her primary school. Ouch, I'm really getting old now :-P

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    1. Age is all in the mind, Loes, or so I'm telling myself! It's really lovely that you've had chance to see your children and now your grandchildren growing up! xx

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  9. {{hugs}} to you Christine, its hard being a mum sometimes, but oh so proud when you see them grow and become something wonderful and then it all starts again when you become a grandparent.

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    1. Ha ha, I am not thinking about being a grandparent at all at the moment! :) xx

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  10. One of my favourite quotes "The greatest gifts you can give your children are roots and wings". It sounds like you're doing a fine job x

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    1. I'd forgotten that quote, thank you for reminding me, it's really lovely! xx

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  11. Hi Christine
    I've missed a few blogs and am catching up now.
    It only seems like the blink of an eye since my girls were at school and now I'm collecting my grandsons from school. Lots of changes, but my girls will always be my "babies" and I will be their "mummy". The one that knew them first and knows them best. They have grown into independent young women and have accomplished much. But I treasure the time when they were "mine" and I was the person they shared secrets with. Enjoy every moment of the holidays and the time with your daughter. It is a blessing and a joy.

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