Daughter two is feeling slightly over-goodbyed. She has had weeks – it feels like months – of goodbye events for the end of primary school. When I left primary school I don’t remember anything more than a ‘see ya later’. Nowadays, whole terms are devoted to the big adios. We’ve had the leavers’ play [Aladdin] and just this week there’s been a church service, a trip to Southend and a barbecue/fun swim. I couldn’t attend the church service and in any event I recalled it as being fairly dull and unremarkable when daughter one did it.
At the last minute daughter two announced she was due to deliver a poem, called ominously “The Final Goodbye”. Apparently there was also a bit where the kids recalled their funniest moment at school and then they sang some real tear-jerker song, “We are the young”. A whole row of mums started sobbing. That set the kids off. They were still crying by the barbecue and fun swim because one of the teachers is leaving too and the choir had sung “My heart will go on” to her that morning. We still have the leavers assembly to go when everyone sobs their way through something about being a drop in the ocean. I’m sure people are crying for all sorts of reasons and recalling all sorts of goodbyes from the past or possibly near present, but it is like some kind of mass hysteria. What on earth is going to happen when the kids leave home [in the hopeful event that they can actually ever afford to]? Is it a mark of our inability to let them grow up or of a fear of the future in an uncertain world? Whatever, I’m not sure I can withstand all of this four times.
The whole of daughter one’s class were in tears when she left and she didn’t even like primary school. She says she was crying because she was terrified of secondary school, but in fact secondary school has been the making of her. Daughter two has had a better time at primary school, but mainly because she has a great bunch of friends and she’s not saying goodbye to them. She seems to be bearing up quite well, though she is partial to the Titanic songs.
We’ve also had only son’s graduation ceremony this week and have a picture of him in a mortar board and gown to prove it. He looks very intellectual. He’s not crying, mainly because he doesn’t really know what’s going on. His main concern at the moment is picking unripe plums off the next door neighbour’s tree and lobbing them into his garden as a “fruit surprise”. I have told him this is not a good idea. Ever since the Hawaiian holiday express 70th birthday party for my mum, he has been demanding all drinks with a straw and a small umbrella. Only son likes to party and for him there are no goodbyes because the party never ends.