The Year of Leaving Dangerously

OK, so I have maybe stretched a point with the title of this blog, but I couldn’t just end it with ‘leaving’, could I?

The end of the summer term is here.  The hubs is in the kitchen cooking curry, A and L are sprawled upon the sofa, still in uniform, slowly discussing the events of the day in little dribs and drabs.  Sam is upstairs, music is cascading in a torrent from his open door, and I, sitting at a little table, am steadily ignoring the domestic chaos and tippy tapping the computer keyboard instead.

Just like all the other years, I have made it to the end of July by the skin of my teeth.  Like every other year, the last three weeks have been dominated by sports days, school reports, the mad dash to buy gifts and cards of thanks, school plays and the emotion of final assemblies, albeit this year from the parental edge rather than the staff centre.  This year, my heart strings have been twanged by just three children, rather than thirty-odd of them.

This year has been significant in its leave taking.  L has reached the end of Year 6.  She has just this moment stepped over the threshold of her primary education, and I find myself wondering whether she will join the ranks of girls who insist on wearing thick black tights, whatever the weather, or whether she will carry on with socks and cool comfort.  And Sam, he has made the biggest change of all; today he left his special school, ready to take up a place at the local mainstream college.

To his credit (and possibly his teachers have had something to do with it too), he is far more prepared for the move than I.  He left with a cheery wave and a ‘see ya!’, while I was required to hurry up and tag along, wiping away the unbidden tear.  He is satisfied that College will mean exciting times and growing up (and, to be fair, I went to a college, and I had an awesome couple of years of growing up and having fun), and I, ever anxious, am worried that his timetable doesn’t seem to have much maths and English in it.  We are entering a new era indeed.

It has been a slow process, this leaving, a bit like when you finally release yourself from the clutches of a sticking plaster, pick by pick.  A house move, new schools for A and L;  it has been a long time coming. When I look back, I can trace its roots, its beginnings, to over a year ago, to the moment when I realised that I could no longer stay on at my school, that the time had come for me to go.

I haven’t really written about it, not in an open way (I wrote this with a friend – and then all my best sentences got cut!)  I haven’t known what to say.  There is a mixed-up feeling of loss and relief, and it’s hard to untangle.  Instead of trying to tease it out, to make meaning through writing, I’ve left it; an undisturbed scab.  I haven’t been in a school, except in a parental capacity in almost a year and I’ve been glad.

So now, like my children, instead of focusing on the pain of what is left behind, I’m turning my face towards the future.  It’s a new college and school for them – and me.

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2 thoughts on “The Year of Leaving Dangerously

  1. Apologies. I was late to commenting on this because hectic weekend and a load of night’s barely sleeping! These blasted life changes, hey? But isn’t it so good to find that change really isn’t as scary as I think our heads make it out to be? And although being out of teaching is weird, I bet you’ve loved been able to concentrate more on your three rather than everyone elses’.

    Also, typical all your best sentences got cut! That’s editors for you! 😀
    M says goodbye to his junior school tomorrow (yes – we seem to be one of the last authorities to break up; eeking out a couple of pointless days.) The thing is I’m quite a transient person ; never stay still or in one place/one job too long. He had a lot of change in his first 3 years, but with a lot more stability for the past 5 and actually he’s coping really well and excited about the big changes coming up for us. Kids are far more resilient to this stuff if they have the stability of family behind them. If that stays constant they cope with almost anything else. So it’s not surprising to hear Sam waving his school days off with a smile. He’ll be fine because he knows you’ve always got his back. We just have to make sure someone has always got ours.

    Enjoy the summer break. I hope you all get a good rest before the New Beginnings of the autumn term are upon us. xx

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