Thursday, June 25, 2009

Last Day of School

As you can guess, the photograph above is of my son a number of years ago. He is with my late Dad, and it was the first day of year four. (My son would probably not be very happy about my posting this photo as the uniform he had to wear at that point was very traditional - he was never very keen on the hat - but he’ll have to forgive me just this once.)

This Tuesday was my son’s last day of school. Where did the time go? Sometimes it seems like the moment pictured above was a lifetime ago, and others, it seems like yesterday.

Ironically, a friend of mine’s daughter went for a “taster day” of Kindergarten on Tuesday, in preparation for “big school” in the Autumn. She is beginning her school career just as my son finished a big part of his. I’m not sure which one of us was more emotional, me or my friend!

Of course, it wasn’t my son’s last day of education as he will go to Sixth Form next year, but that is not really thought of as “school” here in England. It’s post-secondary education (some kids go on to college instead of sixth form at this point, but sixth form is the route to university).

It was a huge relief for us all that my son has finished all his exams, and is moving forward from what has not been the easiest of years, so there is a lot of celebration going on here. We went out for dinner last night and toasted the wonderful young man our son has become. We are so proud of him.

But I have to admit that in my mother’s heart I do feel a pang. The years fly by so quickly and suddenly our children are nearly adults themselves. While it is incredibly rewarding to see the wonderful people they become, it’s also hard to let go, and to accept the changes in your own life that transformation brings. As my brother-in-law said last Friday night, it truly is not just our children who grow up as we raise them, we “adults” grow up too.

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