28 June 2011

Early-onset nostalgia

Child #1 is moving on to high school in September and it looks as though Child #2 will be going to a different one in the following year. Consequently, this week will be the last for them to be travelling home together on the same school bus. It's making me sad, this end of a stage in their lives.

Of course, if we'd stayed in England, this stage would have finished two years ago. Here, the elementary schools run to grade eight, rather than the more usual year six in English primary schools. So both children would have been in secondary education by now. I'm happier with the way it works here, although I didn't know about this particular difference until after we moved. By delaying high school to the age of 13 it feels like they get to be children for longer.

The transition from one school to another is celebrated in a graduation ceremony. This seemed odd to me, when I first heard about it. Graduation from high school seemed strange enough, but from elementary school? For all I know, this is something that is happening in the UK now, too, but neither of these transitions were marked by a school event when I went through them. I do remember being very excited about leaving both my primary and secondary schools, though. No nostalgia at all for me in those days. Must be something that comes on with age...

Last night was my daughter's graduation and although the school's gym was hot and crowded, the ceremony was enjoyable: it was great to see the young people being recognised for their achievements. I don't often blather on about my kids, so bear with me while I share the moment of happiness I felt as I watched my fledgling young woman dance with her dad.

After a long time of being the parents of two children, we're suddenly finding that we are sharing our lives with two young adults. I can't quite believe how quickly that has happened. It's wonderful to watch them growing up, but nostalgia for their almost-over childhood years can be hard to shake off at times of like this.

Now I'm going to listen to ABBA singing 'Slipping through my fingers' while I shed some tears onto my keyboard. With any luck I'll be back to normal by the time that yellow bus draws up outside again...


Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Of course it's an emotional moment. And a proud one.


Quinn said...

A friend told me about attending his son's graduation...from pre-school! The "graduates" actually wore mortarboards (made of construction paper) and filed onto a stage where they sat while speeches were made, and parents took videos. My friend has a video of his son, sitting on stage in his paper mortarboard for five solid minutes, picking his nose.

Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you mean about these milestones and how they are so bitter sweet for us. The whole school graduation thing here is still strange to me too. Emily's preschool had a graduation that I thought was a little over the top but I have to admit I did enjoy it and even shed a tear or two!

Linda said...

That Abba song sets me off every time! No graduations at my children's school here in Scotland, just a traditional end of term ceremony/prizegiving. But I believe it's creeping in to state schools.
It seems like no time since our daughter was leaving primary school. I remember sitting in her bedroom listening to 'Break Away' by Kelly Clarkson, and feeling all happy and positive about this next stage in her life. Now she's going into her final year of school, and with our son already at university we're facing the big shock of no children at home in a year's time. I've already had one huge weeping session, which took we totally unawares.
Enjoy these next few precious years!