There's a lot my daughter's school excels at - it's had excellent inspection reports and the kids mostly seem really happy - but it's particularly good at those set piece occasions which bring tears to your eyes.
Today it was the induction day for the new primary one children who will be starting school in August. The last few days has seen me feel a good bit better than I have in months. This has meant that I've been well enough to venture out for short periods, so I decided that I'd head up to school for an hour to see the new children, one of whom is the daughter of our best friends. I've attended this event for the last 5 years, the first when we were nervous parents bringing Anna along for her induction and in every subsequent year I've been there to tell the new parents about either the Parent Council or the Parents' and Friends' Association, both of which I've been involved in. Today, however, I was just there to spectate, or so I thought.
My Parent Council colleague gave her talk, but asked me to come up beside her as she was a bit nervous. She did really well - she was friendly and informative but very firm on the issue of where people should park, which I teased her about later.
I had cause to do more than tease her, though, as when she came to the end of her speech, she said "I'm about to drop Caron in it because she's going to tell you about the PFA." Now, because I've been ill, I've not been at a PFA meeting since January. I completely missed their grand event of the year, the school fete, a few weeks ago (spending it instead lying on the settee watching the qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix). So, I ended up getting the meeting day wrong, because it's changed, I almost forgot to mention the fete at all, and I took credit for us providing all the new screen and projector when in fact we'd just contributed to its cost, but apart from that it went fine!
Anyway, I hope I managed to make the new parents feel welcome and reassure them that their children were in good hands at the school. There's been a long history of good partnership between the school and its parent bodies. A few years ago the Council said they would build us a much needed perimeter fence, but only around the immediate front of the school, and not around the large sports field in front of it. We managed to change their minds by raising money towards it and now the kids have a safely enclosed field to play in.
Going back to the assault on the emotions, after I'd finished talking they showed this presentation entitled "A Day in the Life of Primary 1" which had pictures of the infants at work and play, set to the cheesiest music you'd ever heard in your life - A Whole New World (a song I can't listen to any more after it was murdered by Jordan and Peter Andre), Reach for the Stars by S Club 7 and The Start of Something New from High School Musical. Being a complete wuss, I may have wiped away a tear in common with all the other mums. Most of the dads, I have to say, were visibly squirming with discomfort at having to sit through it.
It was well worth going, even if I was completely shattered afterwards and had to go to sleep in the afternoon. It's worth the exhaustion just to feel a bit more with it and able to take part in real life again.