Monday, 18 March 2013

It's all Happening Too Quickly

Many years ago when Jessie was a tiny Year 1 student and we were working hard to beat her thumb-sucking habit I promised her a day to ourselves if she could stop.  Just her and me having a day alone, perhaps a town trip, a movie, some shopping.  A great treat for a five year old whose three siblings constantly vied for attention.  I would sit on her bed every night as she went to sleep, holding her left hand (the thumb she sucked) until she drifted off to sleep.  It took her less than a week to beat the habit.  But unfortunately 'our day' never eventuated.

This past Thursday, having dropped Wallace and Sally at school, Jess and I headed to town for her boarding school interview.  Despite a fire alarm seeing us spend the first ten minutes huddled together with cleaners and cooks and other boarding staff out on Agnes Street, the remainder of the process ran smoothly.  A very impressive reference from our school principal, a great report card and an older sister who's already making her mark at the school all helping.  When asked if she has any special talents though, she was a little coy.  No mention of her robot dance moves, ability to sing Helen Reddy's Delta Dawn and I Am Woman at great volume with minimal melody or her very special talent of transforming her brother from sensitive boy to the Incredible Hulk with a few quiet jibes.

After her interview, we lunched, shopped and made it home in time to collect Wallace and Sally from school.
It wasn't until much later in the day as we came out of a Spotlight store, I held her hand and said "Guess what, we're finally having our day".  And so it was.

I'm again feeling the unsettling that comes with sending them off to school.  Though Sarah has excelled, I can't deny I'm envious of all those who have their children home through these high school years.  Next year there will be only two lunches to cut, and then the following year just one.  Our state government's new education policy meaning I miss another year of my boy's life, as he heads off to boarding school for year seven.

Like pages blowing from a book in the wind, I feel they're all flying away from me.

Someone pass the tissues ... and that stiff drink.


  1. Kate and Wallace will be off the same year...and I feel EXACTLY the same as you (will he be at the same school as the girls). Perhaps a multiple child discount will be heading your way.

    and please make note of Jessie special talents for future reference at come of age birthday parties...

  2. I am hearing you. Why oh why are they doing this to our kids. This year 7 thing is seriously messed up.
    My boy will only be 11 in a huge high school the youngest by far. I am thinking about other options & can not believe that life is so geared up to taking their childhood away from them so early. Anyway enough of that. Glad you got your day with your beautiful girl. My K was a thumb sucker too, adorable, but we too made some promises to get him to want to stop. But gee he was cute. Niki x

  3. Oh goodness I am all choked up...Jess will love her years at boarding school (most of them anyway)...while Wallace, Rohan and Andrew and reading above Kate, deal with the choices that have been bestowed upon them. I too wish we had more time and oh how it has flown. They too will enjoy their time but oh how we will miss them. Tx

  4. Ahh, Fiona, I want to reach out and give your hand a little pat and then hold it for a few minutes in my best granny reassuring fashion. They grow up and go so quickly, I know. But the time you have put into forging strong bonds will not be wasted, I assure you. Your Jessie is beautiful!

  5. Is anyone happy about the new year seven at high school? I have yet to meet one. I have a big soft spot for the boarders at the school where I work as my brothers boarded there and I can't imagine what it must be like for their Mums. Just keep thinking about how happy her big sister is and enjoy those special days.

  6. Gulp! I feel like giving you a hug too. And there's your marvellous quote again. It's such a perfect analogy. Is this a new thing in Qld then? They start High school in Year 7 in NSW and Tasmania so I can't imagine anything different although sounds like you may start school earlier as most kids here go into Year 7 as 12 year olds turning 13 that year. 11 does sound young. Fiona, you have given them the most enviable Australian country lifestyle, your beautiful Jessie will be just fine I have no doubt. Mel x

    1. Its something that hasn't been taken into consideration - the age cut off now runs July to June, so my daughter who is january born, is right in the middle and will turn 12 on the day school starts. There is a huge lot of difference in maturity (socially and emotionally) between an 11/12 year old and a 13 year old. But I guess we are all going to be in the same boat, and thankfully, the boarding schools (well one would hope) will have strategies and staff to deal with the younger children.

  7. Hugs to you Fiona! I can't imagine what this feels like but I'm sure it's extremely tough watching your kids grow up.

  8. Fiona, I share very similar sentiments...
    Andrew is born on the 27 June, so will be the deadset "baby" in that Year 7 group. And I'm dragging my feet even choosing a boarding school for him.

  9. Oh I hear you... two years til Dash is gone. My heart breaks a little just thinking about it now....
    You have VERY beautiful children. But I am sure you already know that!

  10. know exactly how you of the downsides of living in the bush.......



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