Back in 2018 I wrote a post about my daughter’s time at primary school coming to an end. It felt like a huge deal at the time, but now that she’s about to go into Year 11 it feels as though she’s an old hand at this secondary school business!
However, last month my youngest bid farewell to primary school, and I have to admit to being a bit of a wreck about it all. For not only did I feel that his “little kid” days were over, but there’s also the fact that it marks the end of my and my husband’s involvement in the primary school that we’ve come to know and love since 2012. And being involved in a community of lovely people for over a decade and having to step away from it is no small thing.
I am very much going to miss being a part of that community. And although, of course, there are other parents to connect with at secondary school (and events to go to and take part in), so far the experience of having a child in secondary school has been quite different to the primary school experience. There’s just something incredibly special about the primary school community; the kinship of parents who have young children who are going through the same kind of school experiences, challenges and milestones. Of course it’s not all sweetness and light, but there is a common, shared goal: to help our children grow and learn in a supportive environment. And that kind of shared purpose brings connection.
Naturally, I’m looking forward to the next chapter in my son’s life, and as mothers and fathers all we can do is simply be there for them, hovering in the background, waiting to step in if they need us. Indeed, this whole parenting process is simply one long series of ‘letting go’s – which does take its toll emotionally. So I’m being gentle on myself; reminding myself that it’s okay to mourn the loss of one stage, even as I look forward to (or worry!) about the next. It’s what parents have been doing for millennia, and there’s comfort in that.