Dear Bendigo: To boys who can fly ( admin posted on July 16th, 2018 )

Two weeks until a break, but there’s no winding down. It’ll be work, work, work, then stop.

Same cannot be said about my boy’s daily doings. Primary schools know how to prepare for a holiday. My son’s class is all but packed up, save for the kids. Art work is off the walls, the board is wiped clean and the reading corner is now just a mere corner.

If only we could spend our wilting days at work making paper garlands of the newspaper…

I remember that time.

Picture a school portable, circa mid 1980s, ceiling fans labouring overhead and the faint scent of sweaty sneakers lingering below.

A class of tired, hot and slightly cranky kids, all hanging out for holidays.

And then, the doors/heavens would open and a timber-veneered TV on a trolley would be rolled into the room like some sort of Christmas deity.

It was the only time we’d watch the telly at school, and we’d take it in turns to bring video tapes in for our classmate’s viewing pleasure.

Think Labyrinth with David Bowie in those too-tight pants – all kinds of wrong, but at the time we didn’t care.

Think The Dark Crystal and my all-time favourite, The Boy Who Could Fly.

Does anyone else remember this? The tape belonged to a girl in my class and each year I longed for her to bring it in. Funny the things you remember.

I’d love to see it again, but I know it would only disappoint. (See earlier reference to David Bowie’s unfortunate excuse for trousers.)

The thing we didn’t get back then that is all-too raw for me now, is the bittersweet passing of another school year.

I’ve said it before, but for me as a mum, every milestone, no matter how large or small is publicly celebrated and quietly, privately a little bit mourned.

We’ll celebrate the end of the school year next week with a formal do. The little kids will be dressed as Wise Men and shepherds and angels – but aren’t they just!

At our first such event last year, I got a wee bit emotional.

It was the farewell to the grade 6s that got me.

Their school photos from prep and grade 6 were shown alongside each other to oohs and aahs and laughs and sighs. And how I cried.

And I didn’t even know the kids… it was the thought of them, growing up and moving on from primary school that unstuck me.

See? Everything bittersweet.

I recognised one of those kids in the street recently.

After a year at high school he looked all grown up. Different.

I think he’d grown wings.

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