Tomorrow my youngest child finishes primary school. No more “little lunches”. No more head lice (hopefully). No more one teacher for every subject. Next year we move into one drop off and pick up for both kids (yippee!!!!), a brilliant music program to stretch her skills and a whole raft of new friends.
For me, it is the end of an era. The end of childhood and the step into the teenage years for what was once my baby. I look back at her Prep photos and see a child with shining eyes, keen to leap into learning.
She has had good years and less than exciting ones. But, overall the Primary School years have been kind to her. All I can hope is that High School is just as kind and her eyes still shine on day one next year, and every day thereafter.
Like every life transition, there are mixed emotions for the person involved and the people watching from the bleachers. A mixture of trepidation, hope and joy in the future. A blend of sorrow and loss for what is passing and is no more.
No life transition passes without feelings surfacing that need to be acknowledged and processed. Trying to push the feelings down or to ignore them is like trying to grasp smoke – parts will always slip through your fingers.
Transitions are not all happiness and not all sorrow. They are a blend of both – like the rest of our lives. We just need to take the time to acknowledge the transition and not race through blindly to the next big thing.
So over the coming days, we will celebrate her successes so far and welcome her new role as a young adult in our family. Her amazing elder sister will share her wisdom and experience thus far to make the transition easier for her younger sibling (along with the odd war story). And yes, I will no doubt shed a few tears tomorrow at her final Primary School awards ceremony.
So tomorrow when I am sitting in the stuffy auditorium, watching my young adult take the stage for one last time at Primary School, I will give thanks for her life thus far and the people who have contributed to her becoming the wonderful young woman that she is.
I will also place a wish for her future. My wish – that she has joy, good friends and a rich life experience in the next phase of her life. And I am sure, in no time flat, I will be sitting at her Year 12 graduation celebrating another end of an era.