Friday, 29 January 2010
The Class of 2023
Firstly, he posed for the one million paparazzi shots that the Geege and I and his grandparents inflicted on him. Then, he carried his own (gigantic) school bag. Then he settled into the classroom with ease, not a tear to be had and barely a backwards glance as we left .
I, on the other hand, had a few tears trying to decide what I could eat at the parent's morning tea but went only with a cup of tea because I didn't know the Points values of any of the other treats there, but that is a story for another post.
And finally, when I turned up to pick him up he said "I had the best day!" He even wanted to know if he can go tomorrow (Saturday). Alas! He has to wait for 3 more sleeps.
I know it is only day one, but to think of all the sleepless nights we had trying to work out whether to send him to school this year or not! And there he was, being all mature and capable, right before out eyes. Bless!
It really is an agonising process for parents whose children are born in the first half of the year (in NSW). The trend is definitely leaning towards NOT sending four year olds to school, but when you do the research, there are pro's and con's in both camps. We erred on the side of sending him, based on our assessment that he is academically and socially ready to go. Both the Geege and I are prepared to review the situation as the years progress and hold him back a year later on as needed, but for now we are happy with our choice.
When you think about it, the trend for "holding back" has really been the norm for many years. I mean, my birthday is May 21 and when I was at school I was the third youngest in my year. This occurred because of a switch interstate after my Kindy year and Mum swears she tried to get me to re-start from scratch when we entered the NSW system but they wouldn't have it. Mum also says there was discussion about repeating me in Year 6. But I didn't repeat and I ended up finishing school well above average.
My age did play havoc with me in Year 8 though. This is when I recall noticing the difference between my own level of maturity (read lack of breasts) and the level of my peers. This was the year I was "kicked off the seat" by my friends, only to regain my status later in the year. It was the ultimate year of teenage angst that had Sister A's cool and scary looking friend Vicki sticking up for me against the "toughies" who wanted to beat me up over something trivial that I said. I have not always been known for my tact, but Year 8 was the year my tactlessness was at its peak!
I pity those of you who are currently parenting Year 8 girls. You deserve a medal!
So my own experience tells me that it may not be smooth sailing for my first born. But we will be there with him 100% of the way, metaphorically guiding him through the school playground and picking him up if he gets beaten down.
I just hope that he is not the biggest dag (he was wearing one of those wide-brimmed hats today when many of the others were in caps. Cause for alarm?). I hope that he finds some nice little friends to hang out with to play his imaginary Ben 10, Transformers etc. games. I hope that he enjoys learning in the classroom and strives to do his best. I hope that he looks forward to school. But mostly, I hope that we haven't set him up to fail and have made the right decision.
But if today is anything to go on, he fits right in with the Class of 2023.
Did any of you send your kids to school on the young side? How is it working out?