Thursday, March 29, 2018

Nine days left

In nine days time, I will be able to say 'I have three kids at school'.

Until you have made the journey, no one can prepare you for how short your child's school years are. As childless people and even as parents of little ones, our point of reference is our own journey through school, and as we all know that took foreeeeeever! I started school in 1972 and left in 1985 and that felt like a lifetime. 1972 seems like the distant past, I can barely remember it, 1985 feels so recent to me, I can still remember how I felt walking out of my high school for the very last time. In those days there was no prom and no graduation, you simply finished that day's classes and walked home. How strange that would seem to today's children!

So how come it is over in a flash when you are the parent? The thing is, the first couple of years at primary school, when they are learning everything from scratch takes a reasonable amount of time, but from about p3 time speeds up. They don't really learn anything new, they just get better at what they've already learnt, so p4-p7 takes a much shorter time than p1-p3. People will tell you that when they go to high school, they are only just through the door when they are suddenly coming out the other end. s1-s6 feels somewhere between two and three years, in real terms. They have only just got there when they are suddenly narrowing down subjects for Nat5, only half way through that course when their Highers are chosen and no sooner do their s5 results come in than they are applying to uni, and if my kids are anything to go by, they are applying without the slightest idea of what they want to be!

Charlotte is currently sitting on four unconditional uni offers (and one still outstanding, but given it is the easiest course to get into, I can safely say she's sitting on five unconditional offers, realistically). So over the next four or five weeks she will need to decide whether her future lies in Glasgow or Edinburgh, in Law, in Economics, or in History (all three with languages). As her mum, I am not sure she is ready to make that decision, but I guess she probably feels more equipped to make it than I would give her credit for. She is no longer this little p1 girl on her first day in Kirkhill, but a young woman at the beginning of an exciting path.

She is planning to spend the summer in Madrid, where she will be working as an au pair to two little girls, the same age as her sisters. The pay is almost non-existent, but in terms of experience, it will open a world of opportunities to her and I can hardly wait to get her home an hear all about what she has done. In a way, it would be better if she could make her uni choice at the end of the summer, as I expect her stay in Spain may completely change her outlook on the future, just as my summer at Perugia uni in Italy did for me when I was 18.

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