As we limp in to the final week of the school year I’m finding myself feeling more and more emotional, because it is almost time for Harry to say goodbye to primary school. He can’t wait, he’s excited to move on and join his big sister at secondary school, yet I am clinging on to these last few days like a toddler clinging on to his mother’s legs when he doesn’t want her to leave.
I have a love-hate relationship with the primary school. I hate all of the last minute requests – can you send your child to school dressed as a war time evacuee, but with a quick change into a Shakespearian costume at lunchtime. (OK that may be a slight exaggeration, but parents who have been through primary school, you’ll know what I mean!) Or ‘please send your child to school dressed in the colours of the Outer Mongolian flag’ and the requisite ‘a voluntary contribution of £xx amount is required otherwise all the children will have a hideous day and it will be all your fault for not paying.’ I will not miss any of those last minute scrambles for costumes or t-shirts of the right colour and tipping out the kids’ money boxes hoping there’s a £1 in there (yes I am that bad a parent!).
But there is so much I love about primary school – the Christmas Nativity play, the Christmas Fair with the hula hoops wrapped in tinsel hanging from the school hall ceiling, the home-made Mother’s and Father’s Day cards, the class assemblies, Exhibition Evening where we get to see all of our child’s hard work and the big pile of their books that they bring home at the end of the summer term for us to keep. I love all of those parts of the school year and I’m so sad that I will no longer have the opportunity to be a part of them.
I know that these emotions are part of a bigger picture. I know that with the loss of primary school I am losing my little boy and his need to rely on me so much. The days of him putting his chubby little hand in to mine as we walk along together are coming to an end. There’ll be no more packing a cute lunchbox for him (instead it will simply get slung in his school bag, teenage style), there’ll be no more hugs and kisses at the school gate, no little eyes searching me out in the crowd of parents at the class assembly to check that I’m there and something deep inside me hurts…