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As the mother of an 11-year-old currently in Year six, we’re fast approaching the end of primary school with much trepidation. Memories of our brand new bundles of joy are fading fast, and suddenly we have hormonal, lanky pre-teens to deal with.
This is an incredibly difficult time in their lives, somewhere between a child and a teenager. Let’s not talk about them though, it’s us as parents who have to cope with our babies coming to the end of primary school!
It’s us who go through every emotion at the last sports day, last assembly, last report, awards ceremony, tie and tiaras Ball, and everything else they put you through in the last few weeks of term. I cried just by reading the school newsletter! The dreaded anticipation of saying goodbye to the school that has nurtured him so well.
It’s us who are wondering what creature will come home on their first day of secondary school. Will they still be the loving child I sent that morning, or will they suddenly, overnight, become too cool for cuddles? Will he still want to be seen with us?
Suddenly my child won’t be a child anymore. His friends will take priority. He will become more independent. All normal and healthy things for his age, but what about the mum left behind?
As we navigate these new waters, I know it’s tough for him too. I can only praise his new school for putting on extra events for the new starters, such as a disco this term for the current year sixes and year sevens, to help them integrate. They have been fantastic, and I know they will continue to help him settle in September.
I’m also full of praise for his current school and teachers too, for providing us with the opportunities to appreciate and mourn our babies growing up. They have provided a great base for him to move on to the new stage in his life. They have worked hard putting on events for us, to make memories and treasure these last few days.
As I look back at pictures of my tiny newborn, just over 11 years ago, it’s hard to believe we’re here already. It was hard enough when he started primary school! In five short years, he will be doing his GCSEs, and I’ll be going through this mixture of emotions again.
Our job as parents is to raise them to be independent, happy, well rounded adults. Personally I’d prefer someone invent something to keep them little! Each stage has come with the good and bad, and we’ve faced different challenges along the way.
My 11-year-old is fast catching up to me height-wise (I’m pretty small, this isn’t much of an achievement!), and in the coming years he will tower over me. The teenage years are fast approaching, and everything that comes with that. The toddler years are now looked back at in a fond way, not the hell they really were! The rose tinted glasses are well and truly on.
So it’s time now to get the tissues out, enjoy the last few weeks of primary school, and hope I still have my boy in there, somewhere, come September. High school... please take good care of him for me.