So it was a momentous occasion in the Lloyd household last week. It had been in the back of our minds for six weeks, probably longer but when the day finally came, it was huge. I’m talking about the step up to big school and it was our boy’s big day, when he goes from being top dog at Junior School, to back down to the freshest faced at High School.
It’s a day we all remember isn’t it? I think for many kids, it’s the first big change in life and it can be a traumatic and scary event. It was made worse for our boy, as he we had moved two years ago, thus being placed outside the catchment area and our boy being separated from all his friends (bad parenting). On the plus side, having moved to Hollingbury, we gained a garden (good parenting).
I remember my first day moving up to Comprehensive, back in Nottinghamshire in the eighties, when school had just been invented. I was lucky, in that I was moving up with friends and some familiar faces. But I just remember everything being so BIG. It was like the first time I went to London. Everything was so overwhelmingly big. I’ve been back since and it looks like a model village but back in 1982, it felt like a whole new world.
I was struck about how quickly kids teamed up and formed gangs and I desperately wanted to be in a gang. Not any old gang but a cool one. It never happened. I got a gang and we are still friends today but Tim Beale had the cool gang and I was not invited.
Once I had accepted this, life got easier. I never got the girls but I was happy with my group of nerdy, awkward friends and once I worked out it wasn’t that important to learn everything at school, I had a ball. I became the class joker and of course, that eventually got the girls. But it took time. It took time and confidence, all the time while my hormones were doing strange things. It’s a challenging period in life. Particularly if you thought you were ground-breaking by having a perm at the back (Chris Waddle’s fault, not mine).
Anyway, back to our boy. I did the school run. I asked him how it would be more comfortable for him and he asked me to drive him to the gate and walk him in to the main hall for assembly. I did this. We got to the school and he walked off, turning around briefly to give me a nervous look, as he strode in to his new life. I turned back to the car and burst in to tears. We live through our children but I really need to man up in these situations.