So here we are, it’s all over. The celebrations, the tearful moments, the milling together with other mums in the same situation…all finished and I’m left feeling surprisingly flat. I worked out that of the 38 families, 25 of us were what the school calls ‘farewell families’ leaving primary after a sequential run of siblings so it was quite an intense week. There was less of the general joy that was there when my other two left – everything (even the children) was much more subdued. The small one has been a bit of a diva for the last few days prone to high emotion which is unlike him. Fortunately his brothers have had outstanding empathy which has been quite moving in itself and have put up with him!
So Monday was the big leavers’ assembly when they generally take the mickey out of the teaching staff and have everyone crying tears of laughter followed by tears of misery as they finish by singing a song that is deliberately chosen to create maximum emotion. This year it was Tyrone Banks (no I’ve never heard of him either) – here’s a snippet:
I will not forget
The faces left behind
It’s hard to walk away
From the best of days
But if it has to end
I’m glad you’ve been my friend
In the time of our lives
You can imagine…
Anyway – here’s what I was wearing:
I have to say that this dress has been a brilliant buy in this hot weather. It bridges the work / weekend divide – I first saw it when I was shopping in Kendal with my friend N on her birthday but resisted it because I do think it’s a bit overpriced at £55 but I’ve kept thinking about it. It’s lovely quality jersey and it has a waist unlike a lot of Breton dresses so it’s a bit more flattering around the middle than those that just stretch over your tummy. It’s also available in navy.
So – that hurdle was over leaving just the other lasts – the last morning school run (thank you to my reader Sharon who emailed just as she was heading off on hers too, a fab moment of solidarity), the last normal pick up and of course on Wednesday the leavers’ service at Church. Again it was the music that was moving – “One more step along the world I go – from the old things to the new” – it always gets me. The children paraded round the Church and were presented with Bibles, they seemed to fall into two camps, the tearful and the jubilant – you can see which one my blondie with the thumbs up was in:
Then it was back to school for a last assembly at the end of which the children and teachers start a slow clap as the year sixes leave the hall and carry on out of the building for the last time – that got him as you can see from his red eyes:
I was wearing:
- Audrey dress: Boden (past season)
- Sandals: Clarks
- Sunglasses: Chanel
As if that wasn’t enough, there was then a huge picnic in the field organised by one of the mums which was lovely but I was ready for it all just to stop. Happily Mr MC had booked tickets for the annual play in the beautiful park in Lancaster. Now I love Regents’ Park and the theatre they have there but I truly don’t think it can match this one. We go every year and people travel from all over the UK to see it. In fact it’s so good that even the 17 year old rearranged his plans so that he could come! This year it was Hansel & Gretel – it’s on until 16th August and definitely worth a trip if you like that kind of thing. It was exactly what we all needed to take our minds off things because even the older two were feeling sad that our family tie with their primary has gone. We had a fantastic M&S picnic by the lake and then relaxed in the sunshine until the play began. I had said no photos because I’d had 2 minutes to get changed but here’s one they took when I wasn’t looking:
- Fluoro Coral Lana Tee: White Stuff (don’t normally shop there bought this with the dress)
- Bistro shorts: Boden sale (sold out)
- Classic 2750: Superga
- Sunglasses: Whistles
I’m wearing sensible shoes because each scene takes part in a different part of the park so there’s a lot of walking through valleys and woods which gets fun in the dark. The highlight of the show was provided by Mr MC who loves a bit of audience participation and went up to sing and dance with the cast (oh how the boys cringed). I was so entranced (is that the word?) by his dancing that I didn’t take a photo but here he is choosing sweets as a reward for his thespian efforts:
So there you have it, what a week. I’ve been trying to put my finger on why it all feels so bittersweet. Some of the things I’ll miss most about primary school are:
- Chatting in the playground
- Being in touch with the little things in the year, the changes of season that children celebrate and adults miss
- Knowing the families of all my son’s friends and understanding a bit about their lives
- Chatting to him and hearing his news as we walk to school at the beginning and end of each day
- Lovely, sparkly pieces of art to stick on the walls at Christmas
- Knowing the head and teachers really well
- Nativity and sports day, mufti days and class assemblies
- Being able to pop in with forgotten homework and sports kits
- The innocence, the lack of cynicism and self-awareness
- The grubby knees in summer shorts
- The constant gamut of untapped emotion – the falling outs, the making ups, the frustrations and the joys
- Hearing the babble of the playground during the day and knowing that one of the voices belongs to me
Sorry, this has been a long one and it’s veered off ‘chic’ again but big change is hard for us mums isn’t it. A new friend that I made in the playground this year very kindly brought me Kahlil Gibran’s words on children which I hadn’t read for years so I’ll leave you with:
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows set forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite
and he bends you with his might
that his arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
for even as he loves the arrow that flies
so he loves the bow that is stable.
With that I shall go off and practice my stability. It’s great when you get in touch and share your letting go experiences, tell me what you do / will miss about primary school, let me know if you found a whole new wonderful way of life, it’s so cathartic so please don’t hold back!