Goodbye and thank you

July 18, 2013

Pre-School Graduation!!!

Pre-School Graduation!!! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I hate goodbyes.  Today is my youngest child’s last day at Pre School and I was quite emotional dropping him off.  Picking him up, I’ll just be frazzled as we have to rush off to pick up his sister from school in time for swimming.  But while I have a bit of space to think, I’m feeling the weight of the significance of the day.  I don’t expect to have any time to think until after the summer holidays, so I’m making the most of it.

This time of year is a huge time of transition for children and their parents.  As a child, I don’t remember ever feeling sad at the passing of an era.  I didn’t mope my way out of secondary school, rueing the end of lessons and rules.  I was just looking forward to the holidays and university.  I didn’t give any thought to how my parents might feel about it.  But now, as my son finishes his Pre School days, I feel a little bit melancholy.  Ok, so he spent the first year not wanting to go because he was too homesick when he was there.  Ok, so this last term he hasn’t wanted to go because, although he doesn’t really know it, he is in transition time for school.  But there was a great term at the beginning of this year when he was happy going!

As I look back, I forget about the details such as the freezing mornings scootering the fifteen minutes from school drop off to Pre School, talking to Charlie about various wars because that’s the only thing that would cheer him up.  Yes, really.  Anyway, Pre School for me symbolises a wonderful time when Charlie has been a very sweet companion, when I could get him away from the tv, and we could spend carefree times in the park together, once he’d got over the disappointment, expressed extremely clearly, that we weren’t going to the sandy park miles away from where we needed to be for school pick up.

One thing I feel so grateful for, as school looms in the autumn after the peaceful, harmonious long summer holiday ahead with two children who only wind each other up for part of each day, is that I’ve been able to be at home full time with my children.  Time has passed quickly, once we got over that first year or two when an hour seemed like a year.  But even being at home full time, life (ie washing) has to go on and I can’t spend every hour discussing the many fascinating scenarios thrown up by the latest Orchard toys puzzle, as the guide on the back helpfully suggests.  But at least we’ve been together.  We haven’t always done exciting activities together but we’ve enjoyed relatively calm mornings and elongated story times at bed as I haven’t had to rush out to work in the morning and I’ve been able to hang out a sock or two during the day thanks to the efforts of Scooby Doo.  I know I’ve spent all the time I can with Charlie, and as he moves on in life, although I’m nostalgic, I’m not regretful.

The main antidote to nostalgia is to look forwards.  I find it helpful to look forwards from a looking back perspective.  I know one day my children will finish school and I may wish they were little again to have these years with them once more.  My daughter is seven and going up into Juniors.  She doesn’t feel one bit of sadness at leaving Infants.  She is just excited at being able to play past the willow on the playing field next year.  Charlie is pleased that the end of Pre School means not too long until he goes to the seaside for his holidays.

So as the long, long summer holidays begin, in about an hour’s time, I am determined to make the most of this phase of their lives.  Not to wish away the hours until bedtime, not to count down the days until term begins, but just to enjoy the now with my children.  Because it will have gone so quickly.


One Response to “Goodbye and thank you”

  1. lynneburnham Says:

    Think this will resonate with all mums whose children move from one school to another. This coming year will be my son’s last at primary school so will make the most of this year. Thanks Claire for our lovely thoughts.


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