Since September and the start of full time education for E, a lot of our ordinary moments, our every day, has revolved around school. Whether that be the school run itself, attending events, reading, writing, homework, down to playing “teachers” (which I love as this allows me a little insight into her school day) or even talking about school. It has become such an ordinary part of our lives.
Every week E also has an extended day at school, she is part of the choir. When it was announced there would be a choir starting she was so excited and prayed that she would indeed get one of the few places for reception children. The intense joy when she was told she had just burst out of her face for all to see. She is still so shy but this is something she really enjoys and I hope that it will help to build her confidence. Music really is in her bones. Those 45 minutes make such a difference though and we are all so happy to be re-united come 4pm, I still miss her so much and of course at the moment that day doesn’t coincide with my working ones!
I wouldn’t say it has been the easiest of transitions for us and I have actually talked before here about our choice. Whether in fact we had chosen the right school for E as she struggled to fit in, and how a small gesture made a big impact and a huge difference. The one thing that we wished for in a school was the sense of community, of belonging. We are going to be in this system for a big part of our lives especially with R following 4 years behind and so the small village community was as important to us as the books on the shelves and the numbers on a report. What I didn’t appreciate quite so much before having a school age child was how much the staff make the school. That might sound silly and a little naive but the fact that their changes, their choices, their career paths can have a huge impact in the lives of our children had never really occurred to me before.
On that sunny September morning just 6 short months ago as we started our exciting yet nervous journey into the village, into the little school with shiny shoes and crisp new clothes we weren’t alone. Not only were there other parents, other children starting too we were all joined by a new head teacher. A tall, blonde lady with a broad smile and a welcoming face. We think she is wonderful, obviously we have nothing to compare that to granted but she is present, extremely personable, has made us all feel at home as a family, valued as parents and most importantly has helped make E’s slightly difficult transition just that little bit easier. She even says that Miss T is her favourite!
A few months ago she announced that she was getting married in March and asked the children from the choir if they would like to sing at the church. E of course jumped at the chance and was so so proud to have been asked. That 4pm pick up was like no other, E running out arms stretched to tell me all about it like we were gossiping over the garden fence, how she was getting married at Easter, how they would be special guests at the ceremony and that they had to learn some ‘Jazzy’ songs. “Mum do you know any jazzy songs?”
Thankfully they didn’t require suggestions and they have been rehearsing the chosen songs each week. Since the moment she was handed that piece of paper with the words on she has insisted on taking it everywhere. Singing them over and over again and we have had daily renditions, she will stand on her stage (aka the toy box in the window) with her words in hand and sing loud and proud for anyone to hear. It’s fair to say I am well versed on “Shine Jesus Shine” and “Chapel of Love” by now. I of course do not mind one bit, not even when this involves us turning off the morning radio on the way to school to practice, I could cry with pride every single time I hear her sing.
On Thursday, the last day of term and as a huge surprise the whole school had arranged at lunchtime to do a flash-mob dance in the playground to Bruno Mars song Marry you – they even invited her husband-to-be to join in on the surprise. To say the children were giddy was an understatement, it was a big surprise for the person in charge!! That same afternoon there was the Easter service at the church in the village and she was presented with a gift and card from the school. It really shows how close everyone is and the impact she has had on the staff and children. For them to go to such an effort for her and it really is a pleasure to witness.
So Saturday was the day. Being the fashion conscious 5 year old that she is, E woke up early to choose her clothes, for this special day she required special clothes, stick on earrings, curled hair and one of mummy’s flowers in it. Nothing less would do than her new bright red shoes for the occasion – she thought that Miss T would especially appreciate those! She also asked to make her a card and rummaged in her sticker drawer for the best love and wedding related ones. Spending so much time designing it and writing the words. The car journey to the church was just the most fun, E chatted the whole way about directions, being late, the weather (how very British!) but also what the bride would be wearing and that she bet the groom looked smart. When I asked if she wanted to practice her songs she simply said that she didn’t need to and that she was ready.
We walked in and she joined the other members of the choir in the stands at the front of the church, you could see how excited they all were, oh to bottle up that feeling, that look on their faces and remembering how big these school moments are in your life when you are there, in that moment. A day that not only means so much to the happy couple but will be forever etched in the memories and hearts of those 12 boys and girls. Everyone awaiting the arrival of that one person.
Miss T walked into church looking beautiful of course, a face full of love and excitement, yet still with a warm smile for us parents standing proudly at the back of the church as she kindly let us also share this time. What’s a wedding without a hitch here and there, as she started her walk, the one that would change her from a Miss into a Mrs, fiancee to wife, the door closes behind her and pulls off her veil, right there beside me. A failed attempt to replace it and a knowing look and I was able to quickly put it right. Something E finds so funny, like seeing her Mum and her head teacher correspond is the strangest thing!
The ceremony was really very lovely and then came the time once they had become man and wife for the choir to celebrate in song. As they entered the aisle all eyes on them I waited with baited breath. Would E sing, would my shy little 5 year old be able to hold her nerve standing on the front row in front of lots of people she didn’t know and sing her heart out, show her beautiful voice off like I know she longed to. Like she has 100’s of times in the comfort of her own home.
She did so well, they all did, one little girl of 6 had a solo part and it was just the most adorable thing. E might have at one point yawned in the middle of a song and that is of course recorded for all of eternity but it wouldn’t be children if there wasn’t some stories to tell. I am so proud of her. I have never felt more like a school mum than stood there, at the back of the church unconsciously mouthing the words, reminding her to smile and watching her make her way into the world. I miss her terribly but I am starting to enjoy it, school mum, it’s a pretty great job.
So a thank you to our little village school, I am so happy to be part of this community and I hope that the head stays at our little school as long as we do, as we couldn’t imagine it any other way. The pride in her school shines from her face every day, as she stands at the gates welcoming the children into school or being there at pick up to say goodbye and chat to us parents too. She really is so active in the whole school and the fact that she asked the children to be present in her day, the most important and special day of her life speaks volumes to us as parents and to the children.
Congratulations Miss T – or should we say Mrs R
Linking with the lovely Katie over at Mummy Daddy Me for her “The Ordinary Moments”
Of course I wouldn’t share photos of the ceremony, her day or the children in the choir but these are Iphone snaps of E, as we left just feeling so incredibly excited she could barely contain herself