It’s the last day of term, and I have just 15 minutes before heading out on the final school run of the year.
Jolly is saying goodbye to KS1 – infants to you and me. My baby Jolly is headed into Junior school, and he can’t wait.
Boy is sailing on into Yr5 with his usual imperterbable calm and gleeful anticipation.
But No. 1.
My biggest boy.
He leaves Primary school today.
That’s it. He’s off to the bight lights of Big School come September.
I honestly didn’t think I’d be quite as emotional about it as I was yesterday watching the leavers assembly. It’s not just the simple fact of coming face to face with the irrefutable goodbye to his baby years. That’s hard enough, but I kind of saw it coming.
But yesterday, watching him and his 26 classmates, most of whom have been together for the full seven years, being a small village school, I realised what he was leaving behind too. This lovely group of children we parents have watched grow and mature into an incredibly special bunch of young people. I see them changing, growing, hints of the beautiful teens and lovely adults they will become.
Of course they’re not all best friends, there are factions and there have been battles. But on the whole they are a very close-knit group, as only spending nearly every day of 7 years in a shared experience can make you.
And it’s all about to change. Some are splitting off into different schools. Even those who are headed in the same direction will no longer be ‘just them’ – they will be split, diversified, watered down by enetring a larger school, streamed classes and countless subject choices.This is the last time they will be ‘them’ – and they’ve been just ‘them’ for a very long time.
So, as I head out the door, I go to collect my baby boy for the last time. The last time I get to stand in the playground and see him running to greet me, bursting with news from his day. The last time I get to know instantly what kind of day he’s had, just from the set of his shoulders as he approaches me. The last time I’ll get to watch him be King of his Hill, being the Big Boy that the little ones look up to and adore as he takes time to notice them.
I am so thrilled and excited for him – and so incredibly, heart-burstingly proud of him. He has made it through the last tortuous year and a half and made it out on top. He’s so very excited to be off to High School, and I know his world is about to explode into glittering possibilities that I can’t wait for him to try.
I miss my baby too.