I always feel an impending sense of doom when the summer holidays are upon us, as with the end of the school year comes the realisation that my daughter is growing even bigger than she was before.
She is going into Year 4 in September, and considering I started writing these columns just before she started nursery, I am hugely aware of just how much time has past and how much she is growing up.
However, whereas last year I was really upset because she’d left infants to go to juniors, this time I was confident that I’d hold it all together since she’s just moving from one part of the school to the next. However, what I hadn’t counted on was finding dozens of crying Year 6 girls – including my friends’ daughters – all upset because they didn’t want to leave junior school. Before I knew it my friend’s little girl was crying on my shoulder and I could feel myself going too. It was all so sad, and I completely understand just how upsetting it must be.
Back in the old days – i.e. the 1980s – we went to the same school as our friends throughout. OK, so we could end up in different classes, but at least we were still in the same school and could hang out at break. Nowadays they say goodbye in Year 6 and most of the kids go off to different schools; and while they promise to stay in touch, it must be hard to keep that pledge when they make new friends.
But of course that’s the wonder of children, that they can meet people and get close to a new set of friends in a relatively short amount of time.
It’s definitely a scary time going from being the big fish at a little school, to a teeny fish in a gigantic school, but ultimately it should all work out just fine. Of course I’ll have to keep telling myself that in three years when my daughter takes the leap, but I hope that by then they’ll have invented a way of freezing time, so I never have to worry about it…