It has been an emotional day today. The final day of the school year has took on an extra weight as it is also the day my first born takes an important step forward in life.
She changed my life, from the day she was born I knew my life would never be the same. And it wasn’t, I can’t remember a time I wasn’t proud of her. When she started school she was so eager to learn, so bright and quick and clever. That never changed once. She loved to read and from her first year she consumed books so fast she was reading beyond her level in no time, it reminded me so much of myself but she started so much younger. Her only weakness was maths, (that and being a chatterbox) but she had so much perseverance with everything she did that by the time she left today her maths scores were above average. She also was so keen to get to school on time, first up, first dressed, first ready, each and every morning, ushering the others with a venomous passion.
I remember my last day, or actually I can’t. I remember my first day of high school and what a big part of my life it was. For so long I considered it the beginning of my worldly adventures. In fact that only changed the day I met Skye. Me leaving primary wasn’t as heart wrenching, I had moved around a bit and had 3 separate primary schools in fact. Skye’s year however had had 7 long years together, a full childhood. Whereas my experience had been about starting in a new place, hers was about leaving a familiar set of friendships. It showed. The whole year clearly cared for each other as tears flowed and eyes stung red.
The service that was put on was amazing and stirring. It was clear that the last day of term had been made into a school tradition. I had never attended before but all had been welcome and there were a lot of other parents from other years there. They gave out awards, best hand writing, achievements in music, best sportsman/woman of the
year. These were not limited to year 6 but it was nice to see some of the students I knew take home awards. What was overwhelming was the amount of influence the year 6 had over the other children in school, at one point they showed a video showing the first year pictures and last year pictures of the leavers, many of the younger children would shout “there’s Skye” “look at Katie” “hasn’t Keaton changed”. It showed me that this year was respected amongst the school and there was a genuine sadness at their departure. I too had grown attached to some familiar faces, at birthday parties and play dates, sleepovers and school productions, I was upset for these faces I had grown accustomed to seeing.
During the assembly it occurred to me how many times the children has performed together, each year they had sang a song for at least 2 school plays, plus any year only assembly’s, special days, choirs and after school activities including the final year end performance. It was yet another way to bond over their time together, I likened it in my head to a TV show cast or a theatre group. This made one of the songs they sung particularly moving. Named “Our last song together” it picked up exactly on this concept. My heart filed with emotion and I joined the kids teachers and parents in welling up as they sang.
Each one of the teachers and teaching assistants congratulated my daughter, and wished her well in her new school. Her year 6 teacher, this being her first class as this school, got particularly upset. I noticed one of her teachers remarked on her leavers book that he sincerely hoped her next teachers would be deaf, it was this shared humour that ran throughout the class that made me smile. It also made me realise that she did have a life away from us already with its own humour and experiences, that concept showed me how much of a young adult she was. One teaching assistant told me how she could tell from my daughter that she was well looked after at home and listened to. This made me proud. Just how much effect my daughter has on so many lives around her made me proud.
As I read over this post to correct and edit I realise how sad a post it sounds, I’m just sad because she is clearly growing up and these days are going by so fast. But I must add that despite it being an end of an era, a childhood, it is also a beginning. Already Skye has had taster days, and has been planning routes to school, and talking to friends who already reside there. She is approaching her new adventure in the same way she has done everything in life, with tenacity and gusto. I know she will be great.
During the service the head teacher read out a poem that I thought was very apt for the situation, but also very inspirational for life in general, so as I finish this post I will leave you to read through it and be equally inspired.
Oh the places you will go – Dr Suess
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
You’ll look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care.
About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.
And you may not find any
you’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you’ll head straight out of town.
It’s opener there
in the wide open air.
Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.
And then things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.
THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!
You’ll be on y our way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.
You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.
I’m sorry to say so
but, sadly, it’s true
can happen to you.
You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You’ll be left in a Lurch.
You’ll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a Slump.
And when you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
is not easily done.
You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?
And IF you go in, should you turn left or right…
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.
You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles cross weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…
…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or the waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for the wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.
That’s not for you!
Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying
You’ll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.
With banner flip-flapping,
once more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!
Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You’ll be as famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.
Except when they don’t
Because, sometimes they won’t.
I’m afraid that some times
you’ll play lonely games too.
Games you can’t win
’cause you’ll play against you.
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you’ll be quite a lot.
And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.
But on you will go
though the weather be foul.
On you will go
though your enemies prowl.
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.
On and on you will hike,
And I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.
You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)
KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
You’re off the Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!