The only way I can process it is to write. To share photos collected through the primary school years and to hold onto this moment, these last few hours when all my children are in one beloved familiar place - our local school.
Next year brings a whole new learning experience and all the challenges that will go with it as he heads off to Intermediate. Catching a bus every day across the city. A new teacher for every class. Greater independence. New as-yet-unknown pressures. It's scary. Not just for him (he is remarkably relaxed about the whole thing) but for me. I don't know what to expect. I don't know how he will go.
I do know that things will be hugely different, never the same again.
|[Dash on Road Patrol this year]|
This year has been something of a miracle. We have been blessed with a phenomenal teacher who really really likes my child. It has made all the difference. This combined with a wonderful in-school tutor, some great friends and a whole lot of hard work has seen my boy apply himself and really try at school for the first time in years.
|[Dash on his last day this morning]|
He knows he has worked hard. We know it. We are proud of him, and he is proud of himself.
Although there were no awards handed out at prizegiving, we felt his efforts (and the other two kids' as well) were worthy of acknowledgement, so we took the kids out for a special dinner and gave them certificates of our own.
|[Gifts for the teacher: Homemade Rocky Road and a copy of my book]|
Now here I sit. The teacher gifts have been given. Tears pricked at eyelids. Hugs were lingering and the thanks were profuse. It's the end of an era. I don't know if I'm ready for it, to be honest.
As the saying goes, in parenthood the days are long but the years are short. And now I'm discovering just how very true that is. Way, way too true.