a momentous occasion…..

occurred today…..our big son left school for the second time!

At 18 years of age he has just graduated from his Australian high school.

Just over two and a half years ago he completed his education at an English high school.

He was 16 years old and at a turbulent time of life when we emigrated. Emotions ran high for him when he left school in England, accelerated by the fact that not only was he leaving school, he was also soon to be leaving his home and moving half way across the world to Australia.

He received his exam results late in August 2010 and the very next day we flew out to our new life in Australia.

A crazy couple of weeks were to follow and as soon as we had a permanent address we enrolled him at the local high school.

‘ding dong round two!’

School holidays fell towards the end of September so he started his new school at the beginning of October.

I remember his first day there – boy was he nervous and oh so physically sick and unbeknown to him I was too!

But never once had we questioned ”are we right in sending him back to school?”
and never once did he question it! We all knew in our hearts this was the best option for him. He could have enrolled at college, began an apprenticeship or looked for employment but returning to school seemed the most logical thing to do as most importantly he would be meeting kids of his own age.

He sat in reception on his first morning along with three other new starters, two of which also came from England, all of them looking like fishes out of water!

That first day was one of the longest days of my life!!! for him not so long! By all accounts it flew by as he tried to fathom out his timetable, find his way around school and forge new friendships.

I think he enjoyed that first day?!

Well, he returned on the second day and the third and the fourth and for the next two years and during that time he formed great friendships, worked hard and gained another lot of qualifications.

So here we are today, the first day of the rest of his life!

What will he do next? I don’t know!

I don’t think he knows either!!

One thing I do know though……whichever path he chooses in life will be a little bit wobbly to begin with but with the correct choice of footwear he will certainly reach his chosen destination and with that I wish him every success and happiness in this great big world!

Work Hard.

Play hard.

Respect your elders.

 Love your family and friends.

mummi g x

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

You’re on your own.

And you know what you know.

And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”

Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

8 thoughts on “a momentous occasion…..

  1. We did exactly the same thing, we left the UK about 3 weeks after our eldest son’s last GCSE exam and put him straight back into high school here in Canada. I think it was absolutely the right decision, although I would have felt loads better about it had I read this post a year ago! I think it would have been too much of a change to send him straight off to college, plus it’s so much easier to make friends at school. I think we should congratulate ourselves on a good decision! 😀
    Good luck to your son on his next big adventure

  2. Loved your post. We’ve just connected on Twitter but this piece hit by heart ! The decisions you make when you emigrate are so hard but you made the right one and sounds like you are a calm and thoughtful parent. Good luck to your son. We know how hard the first bit is and he has earned the right for the next step to be easier! Fingers crossed for you both:)

  3. Hi there, so glad I came across your blog. What a great title, for starters. Combines my two writing passions – parenting and expat life!

    And I loved this particular post especially the Dr. Seuss quite at the end. And the reference to the right footwear. Just having climbed Kilimanjaro I said something similar in a blog posts about lessons learned. Congrats to your son and good luck on his future endeavors. Where are you from originally?

    • Thank you Sine! I am a big fan of the good Dr and both my sons were raised on his books. Originally we are from England but are now settled in Australia, although we have recently been talking a lot about Canada!! 🙂
      Congrats to you on climbing Kilimanjaro!!!
      Where do originate from?

      • Hah – you asked! Originally Germany, where I met my husband, emigrated to the U.S. twentysome years ago, lived there (with a hiatus to Singapore for two years where our second child was born) until 3 years ago, then moved to Johannesburg, South Africa. We are now just on the verge of moving back (to the U.S., though not the state we last lived in). Our oldest is now 16 and while we don’t have quite the situation you did/have, it is similar in that we don’t at all regret moving abroad for the great experience he’s had (and the other kids have had). But it does make things more complicated now, mainly the decision on what grade to send him into – 10 or 11. Just finished 10 here because of the Southern hemisphere schoolyear, and age-wise would go back into mid-11 in the US, but the prospect of that seems a bit daunting because then college is so soon upon him. So likely going back to 10, and likely all other siblings doing same (going back a half grade) but not all happy with that:-). Will see. Just curious: How can you already be finished with school in England after Grade 10? Does that qualify you for all universities or just some? Seems awfully early… But Germany is similar, with apprenticeship a path for many 16-year olds.

      • English school years have changed since we emigrated two and a half years ago!
        Our son completed his education in Yr 11 and he was 16.
        If he we hadn’t have emigrated and he wanted to go to university in England he would have had to have completed years 12 and 13 and left at 18 years old.
        I’m sure now though staying on until 18 yrs is the norm but maybe it is similar to Germany with an apprenticeship pathway being available at 16?!!
        Things change….I can’t keep up with them! 🙂
        Wishing you and your family all the best with the move!

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