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Thursday, 11 August 2011
There comes a time when change prevails. All of a sudden, something slaps you in the face, and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. Today is one of those days. A bitter-sweet one for any parent who has watched their child grow from the moment he calmly arrived into the world to the tinny strains of Simon and Garfunkel on Hospital FM! From (not so) tiny newborn, to a crawling spinach-loving grub of a baby. From tearaway toddler (whose favourite pastime was climbing), to an inquisitive nursery schooler who loved his first real friends and teachers (and still misses his first ever best friend Eric - another of the hazards of a transient expat life), to this particular day - when my not so Small Boy starts "Big" School!
We bade a fond farewell to preschool in the middle of July. His first introduction to International School life in Denmark was thankfully a success. For months when we first arrived, I tried to get him into a Danish school, with the reasoning that any exposure to another language is good, but some of the schools I saw were not the best (to put it mildly), and the few I loved then of course didn't have space. I even toyed with the idea of a forest school which would have seen him outside all day everyday, learning in a forest environment (which appealed to the hippy in me), but then the snow set in for almost 4 months, and I just couldn't do that to my poor English baby.
I visited a lovely Steiner School where I sat by candlelight to discuss my child with a kind and motherly lady who offered him a place (but was horrified that my older child was in an academic school, so felt she should have a place too!). I decided against it in the end, partially because we didn't know where we would end up next, and a more academic start might stand him in good stead for the next school in another country. Plus with no English speakers amongst the staff or the pupils, explaining the calm and quiet Steiner ethics to a non-Danish speaking toddler may have proved ineffectual!
I perservered until eventually I found this friendly little school that welcomed him with open arms. For just over a year, he had a great introduction to his school life! The teachers are so lovely, patient and kind, and at the end of it all it was very sad to say goodbye.
I know we aren't here for much longer and they will both be at new schools in a new country very soon, but despite this, today is still a milestone for him, and one for me too. Time flies and all that...