Wednesday, 8 September 2010

The Gallery - Back to school

This was me, thirty years ago this month. Not back to school, which is what Tara set us for the Gallery this week, but just to school.  For the first time.  Aged three and a half.  The beginning of, gulp, twenty-one years of formal education.

And this was me, on Saturday, five miles down the road from where the first picture was taken.  Back to (that) school for the first time since about 1984.

I couldn't go in, it was the last Saturday of the school holidays after all, but I know that had I done so it would all have been utterly familiar and utterly alien.  I remember almost nothing about it.  I was seven when I left and I have no friends from there and no memories other than those in my parents' photograph albums.

But I found it strangely compelling being there.  With hindsight, that day was the first really independent step on the road to being me.  A person in my own right, separate from my parents and with a life of my own:
Did you have a good day darling?
What did you do?
I've been thinking about starting school a lot recently, not just because lots of my friends, both bloggy and otherwise, have children starting for the first time this month, but also because I'm having to get my head around the fact that although L is now the age that I was then, up here she will start school a year later than she would have done down south. This is because the cut off date for starting school in Scotland is February, and so, her birthday being in April, she will start the August (not September, that's different too) after she is five, rather than the September beforehand.

I've been struggling with this a bit, partially because I was mentally prepared for it to happen next year, so to find out that it won't be for another year after that has come as a bit of a shock, but mostly because she really is so ready for it.

But then I look at those pictures, and I see how young I really was, and I look at my beautiful, precocious, equally young daughter, and I think of her starting off on her road to independence and I realise that getting to keep her with me for an extra year can only ever be a good thing.

Can someone remind me of that this time next year please?


  1. What a wonderful image, my mum has all my school photos, I must get them off her!

  2. Look at you, LOOK AT YOU!
    I tell you what, I didn't know stress until my children started school!

  3. cute liitle satchell! so lovely.

    They go to school too young. Let them mature for longer at home before they start the treadmill. Hear, hear to the Scottish system!!

  4. That's a fringe and a half!! What a cutie, you look so happy.
    My son started kindergarten class at 3 and a half and seemed so tiny. Sometimes wish I'd had him at home longer but I just went with the flow.

  5. You are very on trend for this season with the satchel and the socks. Totally channelling Autumn/Winter 2010.

    Seriously, cute photo.

    The Scottish system sounds preferable. It must be a shock if you were thinking that it would be this year but yes, they're only small. Too small to go to school.

  6. Such a sweet picture.

    Littleboy 1 has just started school in the US aged 5 and a half and I have to say, he's far more ready for it now than he would have been a year ago. So, I would definitely advocate a later start - annoying though it is. Is there a good preschool around you could send her to?

  7. Oww, you look so cute and happy!

  8. oh how cute are you?! such a fab picture :)

  9. That is a FANTASTIC picture! Could your smile be any wider?!

  10. Oh, look at your lovely little face. I could just pick you up and squeeze you *slinks away in embarrassment*

  11. Man that's a great old photo- I don't have any of me on my first day- I was too busy running away from my Mum (little Miss Independent)

  12. That is so alien to me, having just packed off my 2 1/2 yr old to school for the first time. I suppose it's more like nursery, but she does all the same hours as full school. Five and a bit seems ancient compared to that!

  13. Mad Mummy - you must! Although actually the only reason I had that was because we were with my folks last weekend (hence why I was able to drop by the school). I don't actually have them normally.

    Tara - why so stressful? I still have idealised fantasies that I'll get stuff done when they're not here all day!

    Kelloggsville - glad to know you approve! Seriously it's good to know that in many ways it will do her good. Of course the funny thing is because S&A are born in December, they'll still start the same time they would have done down south, they'll just be young for their year instead of old.

    Trish - it's funny how different it is up here really - it doesn't sound that different but then you take into account birthdays etc, and suddenly they're starting school almost two years later in some cases...

    Deer Baby - lovely to know I was trendy once?!

    Nappy Valley Girl - she actually gets funded sessions at nursery which she's doing, and will do them at the school next year, but somehow that feels different from "proper" school...

    Michelle, Tiddlyompompom and Christine - thank you!

    Fenngirl - I'm not sure I'd risk it if I were you! But hello, and thank you for following! I'm sure there will be more embarrassing pictures to follow.

    Missy M - how on earth did you manage that? I thought it was virtually the law that everyone had to have a picture like that!

    Mwa - 2 and a half?? Goodness! I thought they were later in general in continental Europe. To be fair, she's in nursery five sessions a week (and could be doing that at the school (but it's easier for me to have them all in the same place!), but it's not school proper is it?


I know. I'm sorry. I hate these word recognition, are you a robot, guff things too, but having just got rid of a large number of ungrammatical and poorly spelt adverts for all sorts of things I don't want, and especially don't want on my blog, I'm hoping that this will mean that only lovely people, of the actually a person variety, will comment.

So please do. Comments are great...