Today I was at the front doors as students and their parents began arriving for our annual Primary Project Fair. It was wonderful to witness the smiles on the faces – and that was just the parents! As usual the students put forth their best efforts to create terrific projects that each of them can be proud of, but there was certainly some sense of relief on the part of many parents that this project was over at least for another year, and maybe forever (if they no longer had any children entering grades 1-3 in the future).
As a Dad of a 15 year old and a 17 year old, I can certainly empathize with that feeling among the parents. I remember looking forward to the end of some project, recital, or experience with my kids. But this morning also reminded me of a couple of parents that I was fortunate to come across when my kids were younger who shared some advice that has stuck with me (incidentally, you get a lot of advice as a Head, some helpful). One of these individuals was a KCS parent, who I encountered early in my career at our school who said to me, “Before you know it, they will have grown up, and you’ll look back on these times more fondly than when you were going through them.” I have to admit, with my daughter about to go off to university in September, that message has come to mind many times during this, her grade 12 year. There are times this year when I wish we still had grade 13 in Ontario.
The other parent is somebody I have spent quite a lot of time with over the years as a result of my son’s soccer. One night, we were on the sidelines on a cold and rainy night, and I must have said something that sparked him to turn to me and say, “You only have a few years in your life to do this sort of thing, and when it’s over, you’ll miss doing it.” You hear a lot of things as a parent involved in minor sports with your kids, much of it not worth repeating. However, this comment really resonated with me both then and now. I’m already anticipating feeling like this even though we still have a few summers left of club soccer, and maybe some university soccer afterwards.
It was so good to see so many of our primary parents, grandparents and friends here today to show support for our students. Your memories of this project may be different than what your children remember, but I am confident you will look back on this time at some point in the future and miss it, at least a little.
Head of School