My oldest son sleeps tonight with that juiciness of anticipation- like the night before your birthday or Christmas eve because tomorrow when he wakes up he will be putting on his high school uniform for the first time.
I am jealous. I remember my first day of high school, it was our bicentennial year 1988. My memory of it is as if it were only a few years ago not the umm- whole twenty nine (eek).
My white shirt, sorry correction blouse (gee I hate that word) was such a dangerous level of white I was convinced as I looked at my reflection in the mirror that my shirt would cause a traffic accident while I walked to the bus stop. Liam won’t have to worry his shirt is very bland.
Once the first bell rang I remember being sardined into the drama studio sitting cross legged on the floor with the black drama curtains only making our white blouses all the brighter. I doubt my son’s bottom will even touch the floor tomorrow such is the privilege of this generation.
I sat next to a girl whom I did not know she held my hand she was feeling very nervous, I tried to reassure her that everything would be okay- five years later we would be captain and vice-captain respectively- who knew… I wonder who he will sit next to.
My first English lesson we received The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I read it in a week fully mesmerised by Mary Lennox’s character. What is his first text going to be?
He has laid out his uniform as if he were a fireman, he has even packed his lunch. I know that he will be up at sparrow fart fully dressed desperate for the bus to drive down our dirt road so that he can get on it and begin high school.
Some would say that this level of keenness is not sustainable, I am sure that it will last a week. My motivation and keenness for school did not wane. I only missed one day of school in six years and that was to attend my Grandfather’s funeral.
My experience at high school was positive. I want that for him too. But this is his journey, man-on- man Masterchef oh how you have wrecked that word for an eternity. You have made that word one of the biggest cliché’s of modern time.
So I wish my first born all the very best on his educational quest. I hope that he always remembers what a privilege education is. That he keeps the bigger picture in mind that he is part of something much bigger. That he tries and finds his way with a heart of kindness and good humour. No matter what I want him to know that I love him and that I am proud of who he is.
To all of my friends whose child is going to high school tomorrow or starting kindergarten…. It’s GAME ON.