The strain of the past 8 weeks was telling on the face of the Baby Angel as I caught her unawares, sitting in the water down at Seacliff, last Saturday. Highs and lows, decisions and goodbyes. As the last day of school arrived today it was a far cry from the carefree excitement of an Alice Cooper number. We were back in the Adelaide Town Hall tonight for the final Speech Night of Alma Mater as we know it.
It was a night of great dignity; girls were recognised for their contributions to school life, dignitaries gave sage advice and the House Cup was awarded. There was mention of the future. There was mention of the great pain of the past eight weeks but it was not dwelt upon. Most of us held it together until the Principal cracked whilst thanking her parents for their support during the last term, this followed by a soaring version of 'Somewhere' from West Side Story. For the girls it was the School Anthem at the final leaving that tore apart what thin shell of control they had left.
Himself and I battled our way through the crowds (won't have to worry about that next year) of sobbing girls and grim faced parents, stopping briefly to catch up with some familiar faces.
"Really? So are we."
"And where are you off to?"
"Scottish Girls' School in Outrageously Overpriced Suburb"
"Really? Good luck with that."
I am still angry. I am searching deep for a shred of understanding and forgiveness but all I can find is resentment and mild disgust for all those wailing and moaning, but leaving all the same.
And my kid is hurting. That's the most bitter pill of all.