Elsie’s last day in primary school – the end of three long roads

Just one to record for the “family blog”. (It gets lost on Facebook otherwise forever, and people will have stopped using Facebook in 5 years anyway!) … a momentus time in growing up, just like Lily’s prom and 5 years ago Lily’s own leaving Broadway Primary School.

You’ll note the mention of Lily here. That’s the thing with these second-borns like Elsie. The trail has already been set by elder siblings and so, as a parent, the process is a bit less gushy second time around. I was able to really enjoy this morning’s leavers’ assembly and take it all in.

Lily’s first day at Broadway, Sept 2007

But today was about Elsie’s leaving. Topped off with a lovely ‘custom’ rendition of Mr Brightside by the class with their own lyrics, the smiles were deep and wide from parents and children alike.

It’s been a very long stint, being “a parent” at Broadway primary school. For a quarter of my whole life to date (since September 2007, when Lily started Reception class there).

But there’s a couple of things that made me more melancholy than I was expecting…

The end of a long road

Rain or shine, we’ve generally been visible in the village for the last 12 years as ‘that bloke with the girl on the back of his bike’, taking the lion’s share of the 3.2 mile round trips by

  • Trailer bike,
    then, for a year…
  • Tandem with a trailer bike on the back
    then, when Lily moved on to high school
  • Trailer bike
    before, finally
  • A Tandem

I say ‘rain or shine’ there’s been plenty of snow, a couple of minor crashes, only one or two punctures, and a few more good proper soakings than I’d care to remember. Taking little people in full waterproofs and wellies to school and getting them changed when you get there is just one of those things that sound horrible but I’m going to miss it dreadfully.

And the mileage? No – I’ve not been keeping track. None of it is on Strava. It adds up a bit though. Back-of-an-envelope calculation:

12 years x 200 school days x 70% (rough guess of how many journeys were made by bike) x 3.2 miles (twice each day) + 300 feet ascent per journey =

  • 5,400 miles with a passenger on and
  • 5,400 miles without the passenger
  • 1,008,000 feet of ascent and descent.

Almost half way around the world’s circumference and over 34 Everests. Enough said. It’s been a long journey!

A long stint at the PTFA

I generally turned up at the school summer fairs, Christmas fairs, and chucked in my money where needed to help the school PTFA for the first few years Lily was at Broadway. Then when her and Elsie overlapped for a year there, I felt like I should get involved a bit more.

There was a vacancy for the chairperson so I put my name forward and … well … nobody else did. Seven years of fun, chaos, frantic organising, utter reliance on superb PTFA colleagues, crack-pot ideas for fund-raising, packed events, some really-not-so-packed events, fun quizzes, serving a gazillion hot dogs, storing booze off-site, running about and generally getting things done at the last minute, and that all came to an end this week.

At times it’s felt like a weight around the neck, but only very short times and for its most part it’s been a lovely chance to help the school and do so with just just plain brilliant fellow-volunteers. I’ll miss them all and it was very, very touching to receive a ‘leaving’ gift from the PTFA and school today, when the year 6 leavers were leaving. A brilliant bunch. Thanks to all xx