What I remember most about Rogan’s first day at school is that I was far more upset about it than he was.
My own school days were not overflowing with warm, fuzzy feelings. I recall it as being a place of hostility, tension and boredom. Leaving school was, up to that point, one of the happiest days of my life.
The idea of inflicting this on my son made my stomach churn. Yes, I’d been assured that bullying was now a zero-tolerance issue rather than the “that’s life, deal with it” attitude that came down from unsympathetic teachers, some of whom, in my experience, were often the worst inflictors. But the fears remained.
Fortunately all my concerns came to nothing. Not only did Rogan excel at school work, he was reasonably popular among the other children and could even kick a ball with some accuracy (something I was never able to do, which was unfortunate in a place and time when how well you could kick, catch and throw one conferred your status, or lack of it, in the playground and pecking order).
Nearly 13 years have now passed, and Friday was his last day at school. He only has to go back in for his final exams now, which actually make no difference to what happens next has he has already received an unconditional offer from Heriott Watt University in Edinburgh to study Physics.
Rogan's first day at school
Rogan's last day at school
This autumn, on Rogan’s first day at University, I will once again be far more upset about it than he will, but for different reasons.
He’ll be excited at a whole new world opening up, whereas I’m going to miss him terribly. My wee boy is all growed up