The End Of An Era…

“This is the way the world ends.

Not with a bang, but a whimper.”

-T.S. Eliot

Today, both of my children left the school we have called home for the last seven years. This has been a very emotional time for me as well as I’ve been quite involved at the school and have done the publicity for 6 years. However, I’ve not only written press releases, I’ve also been the school photographer. I haven’t simply photographed the kids like some fly on the wall from a distance. I usually talk to them. Encourage them to smile and come out of themselves so I’m definitely no stranger up there myself. I’ll really miss the kids and truly appreciate what an honour it’s been to get to know them in this much more personal way.

Next year, our son starts high school, so he’s definitely reached a point of no return. He is out of the nest and will soon be grappling with his new, much expanded universe. Our daughter, on the other hand, still has two more years of primary school to go but has been accepted into a selective primary school. Her new school is a 45 minutes drive away or an hour train and bus ride. This may prove too much but we’ll see how it goes.

While our daughter left the school quietly , exiting stage left largely unnoticed, Year Six left with more than the usual bang.

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Kindergarten children hold hands forming the arch for the tunnel.

 

 

It’s a school tradition for all the kids to form a tunnel or guard of honour  and the Year 6s move through. As Mister explained, this can be quite tricky because the Kindergarten kids are half their height. So, he found himself ducking, weaving and crawling through,  which I’m sure just added to the fun. There were many tears as the kids went through and I’m surprised I didn’t cry myself but filming and photographing the action probably distracted me. Besides, I still don’t think it’s sunk in that we’ve left. That a whole new road has opened up. Make that two roads.

As luck would have it, a severe storm hit Sydney yesterday. In what was a very Jane Austen moment, not long before the tunnel was due, the heavens opened up. Rain bucketed down. Lightening flashed. Thunder, which had been rumbling most of the day, suddenly cracked with a vengeance. Although this sounds bad enough, we’d actually been spared the worst. Parts of Southern Sydney were hit by a tornado rated as an F2 (strong for Australia).

So, rather than leaving school with a whimper, Year 6 of 2015 went out with a bang…and a flash!

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To be perfectly honest, I can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like next year when the three of us won’t be heading off to school together. If my car was a horse, I wouldn’t even need to steer. The car well and truly knows the way and it wouldn’t surprise me if we somehow end up there by accident on the first day next year: “We’re back!”

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Last night, we had the “Year 6 Farewell”, which was the grand finale for year. The theme was 1970s hippie/surfie. Each student designed their own record cover, and there were some fabulous designs there…loads of rainbow-coloured texta. There was also a vinyl record for each child with their photo from Kindergarten (their first year at school) on one side and Year 6 on the other side. These were hung with fishing line from the roof of the hall and looked very impressive en masse. One of the parents made a Kombi photo booth, which looked fantastic. Parents were allowed in to take photos at the start and were shooed out for most of it and return for the final proceedings. A video has appeared of the teachers doing the Nutbush on the school’s Facebook page. They’re a great bunch of dancers.

 

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Mister on Record.

 

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Mister and Geoff at the Farewell.

As hard as it is to leave the school, change is a part of life and we all know what happens to still water. It stagnates. We have to keep moving.

Quite often we have no idea where we’re heading and are just fumbling around in the dark. Most of the time, things eventually become clear.

So, as much as I’d like to stay put and keep keeping on, we’re off.

We are done! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fc3LGzNEkL0

By the way, thought you might be interested in a poem I wrote about when Mister started school: The Acorn https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/the-acorn/

Will you or your family be experiencing any fresh starts in the New Year? Please share!

xx Rowena

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9 thoughts on “The End Of An Era…

  1. Ally Bean

    Such a wistful quality to this post. It resonates. Moving on is such a universal experience, isn’t it? I have no doubt that you’ll figure out how to get the kids to the right place next school year, but I can see your dilemma. Ever onward, eh?

  2. vanbytheriver

    I had a similar experience when we moved away from an elementary school that was opened with my kids’ class, and I served as volunteer coordinator, with a cast of hundreds. It was bittersweet for us all. I understand your sentiment.

    And your children are just beautiful. Those smiles are genuine. They’ll be just fine. ❤️

  3. roweeee Post author

    Thanks very much, Kat. They do seem to be going well.
    it was interesting after being so immersed in the whole school thing over the past few weeks, yesterday after going to Martin Place to pay my respects to those who died in the Lindt Cafe terrorist siege in Sydney a year ago, I caught the ferry out to Watson’s Bay out near the Southern headland of Sydney Harbour. The weather was perfect and the sky and water were a beautiful blue. My hair was flying in the wind and I went past Rose Bay where I lived until I was 2…not that I remember it. It was very good to get out of the micro environment and spread my wings. See something new. xx Ro

  4. Minuscule Moments

    Rowena it looked like an awesome send off. Due to there only being ten kids in Willow’s year we did not have a year six night. We took them out to a thai restaurant though. We did do the tunnel and I tried to capture them all coming out the other side but they were too quick just like how quick primary school has vanished for Will. Wishing you much joy with all the new changes. Here’s to a great 2016.

  5. roweeee Post author

    It was pure luck in a sense that I captured him at that moment and yet I’d been check spots out. I actually photographed them going through the kindy kids so the year 6s were crawling but loving it.
    It’s been a real blessing to be the school’s photographer. I have had in effect a back stage pass and could photograph anyone. Of course, there were issues about publication but not taking the photo. This enabled me to experience the school in an incredibly special way. Not only through my lens but through m heart. I don’t know whether I’ll be able to do the same when Amelia goes to Wyong. It wouldn’t surprise me.
    Having this level of involvement in my kids’ lives has only come about because of my health problems. I used to be very career focused but now I’ve fallen off the wagon somewhere. The kids do miss out on slabs of my time when I’m not well so it’s not your usual family set up but who has that anyway?
    Well, I just let off the champagne for a Happy New Year. So, as you said, here’s to a great 2016!
    xx Rowena

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