We were driving to school this morning when it occurred to me.
This is the last school run we’ll ever do with Flea wearing this school uniform. The last day she’ll wear her school tie. The tie I remember painstakingly showing her how to tie for herself, smiling every time she went to school so proud of her wonky efforts.
Today is the last day of term. When she heads back to school for summer term, she’ll be in her summer uniform.
Then, a couple of months later, it will be goodbye to primary school and a whole new uniform in September.
Wow. This stuff goes fast.
Last night was the junior school disco – I suspect it’s another last to add to my growing list.
Flea was full of chat, and one of the stories she told was about how Girl A would probably spend all her time with Boy B – they’re dating, apparently.
This past year has been a bit like that. Lots of the girls in Flea’s class have “boyfriends” and they have super-dramatic relationships that would put Hollyoaks to shame – with romantic overtures, dramatic break-ups and even more dramatic reconciliations.
Some of my friends think it’s evidence the children are growing up too soon but to be honest, I’m not wringing my hands just yet.
I tell Flea I think it’s sweet (which is the single most effective weapon in your arsenal when you’re dealing with 10-year-olds, I find). And I also point out it’s play, in just the same way the younger kids play Mums and Dads and pretend to drive to work.
“When you’re older, and your body changes, and your hormones have kicked in, then you will start to feel attracted to people in an entirely different way, and that’s when you’ll understand what dating is,” is the mantra I’ve been using for the past year or so.
The funny thing about the last year of primary school is how grown-up your kids look in that setting. Personally, I can’t wait until she’s the tiniest kid in school again.
But at ten, Flea’s definitely very much still a kid. And I’m glad she doesn’t seem to be being pushed too soon into worrying about selfies, and image and being cool.
So I’ll admit I was relieved that Flea couldn’t have cared LESS what she wore to the school disco. Unlike some of the kids, she didn’t bother with nail polish or lip gloss, heading off in skinny jeans, Nikes and an LA Raiders t-shirt. She reluctantly let me brush her hair.
We chatted in the car on the way to the school. And it was lovely. Flea said she didn’t understand the point of spending all night with just one boy. “If you’re just with one friend you can’t hang out with all your other friends,” she said. “Me and Tess are going to eat 10 refreshers each until we’re high on sugar, and then I’ll just dance and jump around and lie down in the cloakroom.”
It’s nice. For all she’s growing up, she’s very much still a kid.
I like that.