If you have not yet experienced the emotion-fest that is Year 6 to Year 7 transition, allow me to break it down for you:
September is yuck because that's when your mini-you takes their 11 Plus or secondary entry exam. After that is the wait...
...For the results. Weeks spent in self-inflicted horror, studying the grim suburban myths about dodgy goings on outside the exam hall. "My daughter's friend's mother's friend's daughter saw the girl who had been sitting behind her in the school entry exam get into a car and drive away!"
After agonizing for a few weeks, finally the results come. You don't feel like telling any other parents for one of two reasons: your child did less well than hoped and you don't want to compare results. Or your child did really well and you don't want to compare results - and cause reluctant reciprocal divulgment. So you shelve your disappointment or joy and save the energy for the anguished decision of school choice. Because even if your child did well, you can take NOTHING for granted. You sit back and wait...
...for the email telling you which traffic jam your child (and possibly you) is going to become intimately familiar with from September. You wait all day and all evening. You find an email from a long lost workmate upon checking the spam folder. Then, hours after everyone else has had their email, yours pops into your inbox.
The end of a journey? Nope.
You visit the school and come to the realisation that your mini-me is now a midi-me. You hear speeches about how independent your children are soon to become and detailing the amount of homework they are soon to be expected to manage and how many clubs they are expected to join and how perfectly presentable their uniform needs to be and how much money you are expected to contribute monthly to the school. And you start hyperventilating (in a secret, mental way that your midi-me can't notice- until she's read what you've written in a magazine).
You find you are lucky enough that your best friend's midi-me has been allocated the same school as your own. Together, you go on a reconnaissance mission to the school uniform shop and while looking at the official list of uniform, pe kit, and prices, and factoring all the wonderful, horizon-broadening school trips available, come to the realisation (and yes, there are a lot of those in this process) that you should have opened up an ISA when your mini-me was born, in order to pay for everything.
In light of this latest realisation in the uniform shop, your midi-me must try on a blazer which is plainly too big. However, it is not "too big" enough. You have no idea how much your Midi will grow during these intense growth spurt years and, you figure if you go for the super big blazer that reaches her knees, it should only look really funny for about a year. After that it will just look funny. Your best friend is wetting herself in the corner of the shop laughing at your "logic". You leave the shop without having bought anything because you are going to wait until the last week in August to do so. (To allow for extra growing time)
At the induction day, you meet other parents and you feel a bit better. Some are just like you (maybe a bit less on the edge). Your midi-me goes off and meets her new teacher and classmates. There is a second hand uniform sale. You go with the intention of finding a blindingy bargainous blazer. You leave with a lab coat that is too big, even for yourself and a home-ec apron.
It ain't over yet; you still have all of the end of Year 6 shenanigans to cope with: concerts, plays, leaving discos, yearbooks. You hope you can deal with it. I will help you. Meet me on my blog at mynotesfromtheedge.blogspot.com.
Angelina runs Sing and Sign award-winning baby signing classes in Harrow, Bushey and Rickmansworth. More info at www.singandsign.com.