Sunday, 24 May 2009

Major scrapbook opportunity!

Loads of Mothers will have had the same experience as me over the last 10 days. My daughter (a late summer baby, so still only 15) has finished school. And school made it a day to remember and for that I really thank them; I had really underestimated the importance of last Friday - mostly, I think, because they all have to go back in for their exams and so I kind of don't see the point of leaving first. But no matter; it is done and my word, how important it was to these young people to let them draw the line in the sand. Miss Dunnit is part of a tight 'gang' within a large year group and these guys sure look out for each other. Of course, because of my scrapbook habit I had the foresight to take my camera to school on Friday afternoon, so I didn't miss all the evidence. They even had a balloon release, the significance of which still brings tears to my eyes; I hope someone captured it on film! They celebrated like maniacs all day, and parent friends tell me that like Miss Dunnit, their children were exhausted and a little blue on Saturday, the reality of the seperation setting in. See, the school may be in a quiet country setting, but it serves many rural villages and small towns, which means that these leavers will be sprinkled across colleges, sixth forms and apprenticeships in two counties. Here begins the real lesson - you stay in touch with the friends you want to keep. I should know. Having shared a dormitory, dining table and personal life with the same bunch of girls for 8 years at boarding school, I know this only too well. I've studiously avoided reunions and in nearly 30 years I've seen one girlfriend twice, and another thankfully, much more regularly, but not enough! Once you aren't a student, real life soon takes over, and by the time you've moved house and blah blah, it's different. Not too late, not too much trouble, just different. I don't know if Miss Dunnit has any enduring friendships in this group; I certainly hope so. But it's OK either way isn't it? One of my most cherished and enduring friendships is with the woman who married a friend of ours, only about 10 years ago. How lucky was that for him and for me?! Although he says we are a bad influence on one another and that I encourage her to gang up on him. Yep. Absolutely. We've been through a lot together, and most of it was her fault, and I have a rubber stamp that says that, so it must be true. And corny and cliched as it is, and as successful and fulfilled as I want my daughter to be, above all, I want her to be happy and for that, she needs friends. Especially the ones that she can blame when the establishment frowns at her!

5 comments:

Julie said...

Great Photo. My youngest son left school on 8th May and I felt empty really even though he has to go back for exams he has left school I strongly believe they should finish in July like the rest of the school.

Lyn said...

A photograph with evidence of friendships gained and how true about keeping just those that really matter. My best friend and I (as an only child, she is one of my "surrogate" sisters) met when we were 11 at grammar school - 42 years ago and still going strong. May your DD be blessed with lifelong friendships both old and new as she starts on the next important milestone of her young life :)

Ayesha said...

im one to say i have lost many friend over the years and now through a build of self esteem im gaining them again im happy you support her xxx

Anne said...

How very true. I've certainly found that the friendships which endure over the years are not the ones that I thought would at the time - if that makes sense. Of my very tight group of friends from uni, I really only see one of them regularly, and although I'm still in touch with the others, and will always be there for them (and, I hope, they for me), you're right when you say it's just not quite the same now days.

Although I work in a primary school rather than a secondary, your post has made me think about my role in leaving school. I'm responsible for organising the leaving celebrations, which are big and time consuming and exhausting to organise. And you've reminded me of why it is so important that we do it.

Pam said...

My son left too-and i wonder how long he will keep his group of friends as they all head off to Uni...