So, we’re half way through the first week of the holidays already. Friday was the last day of school and I went first to collect DD, who hurried past me, head bowed. I caught up with her at the school gate and after a failed attempt at conversation, discovered that she was crying. The big, fat tears plopping onto her shoes gave her away. Between the sniffs and wails, it emerged that she missed her teacher already. We went back to say goodbye again, but she was utterly distraught.
In my day, the last day of school was cause for celebration, not least because we got eight weeks holiday. Eight whole weeks of not having to get up in the morning, soft toilet paper, a massive degree of freedom and food with some nutritional value was definitely something worth celebrating. No matter that we wouldn’t see our friends for two months, we’d still bolt for freedom like an escapee from Colditz.
My own experiences aside, this is still something of a new experience for me, possibly because in six years of Infants (DS followed by DD) every other class teacher has either gone on maternity leave (the younger ones) or fallen ill (the older ones) half way through the year. But, this year, DD’s teacher, being young and male (not to mention tall with big, brown puppy-dog eyes and adored by all the children), stayed the distance. She is not only leaving his class but also going up to Junior school next year, (and looking forward to it with great enthusiasm, I might add), so she won’t even see him in passing despite “big school” being next door. DD, I suspect, has experienced her first crush and the pain of loss at the tender age of seven.
The young are resilient, however, and after an hour or so of sniffling, weeping and inconsolable misery, during which DS and I tried our best, she eventually declared “I think going to the pub might cheer me up”. (Did I mention she’s seven?) Perhaps it was a mistake to try to cheer her up with this (she thinks it is hysterically funny usually and we did manage to stem the tears at least)