The trend 6 years ago was to hold boys back a year, to have them start school aged 5 turning 6. Pages and pages of research are out there to be found as to the multiple reasons why this is so.
In 2010, I needed Liam to go to kindergarten. I had all three of my boys at home in 2009 with my husband working in Ballina, the days were long. They weren’t all bad. But they were long. In fact I don’t have much memory of 2009 Liam 4, Hamish 2, and Kieran only 1.
Luckily for me Liam was ready for kindergarten.
The decision which school to send Liam to was perhaps the easiest I have ever made. The principal of his new school was devoted to her work. It was obvious to me, and to all that met her teaching was her vocation. She was passionate about learning, it was infectious the kids felt it too. Parents sent their kids to that school based on her reputation.
The children loved her, they would run to her at the front gate and the playground, she would embrace them with such warmth. She would welcome the parents of these children, as if they were her family.
I understood how these parents loved her, because I did too. She was my Aunty. Her influence on my life has been profound, her generosity and love for me and my boys, I have treasured. I was privileged to see her in action in that first year of Liam’s education. Unlike the rest of the school community, she is still a part of our lives. She retired at the end of 2010. I think of her now as Liam prepares for high school.
At Liam’s year 6 graduation dinner there were 2 photos of the children- a kindy and year 6 school photo. In 6 years my oh my how they have grown, physically which is obvious but their individual characters are more chiselled out. They are beginning to get a stronger sense of themselves, and starting to see where they fit into the outer world.
It was a lovely graduation celebration on Thursday night. I am so excited for Liam to finally leave primary school. He is ready for his next stage, just as he outgrew preschool, he has now outgrown his primary school. He is ready.
I thank all his classroom teachers, for seeing and appreciating the unique qualities that my son has. I thank them also for their patience and kindness helping him to navigate as he at times stumbled through the challenges of primary school.
I am proud of Liam’s achievements over these years and as his mother I would like to cash in on some of them, but as Kahlil Gibran says in his book The Prophet
“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”
What he does when he lands well- that is all up to him.