All’s well that ends well.

It wasn’t an easy week: high school children at home during the time I’d set aside to prepare for the holidays; the worry my fifteen-year-old would be self-isolating on his birthday; a heatwave; vindication of my whingeing about this when I got burnt working in the shade; and my youngest leaving primary school.

Everything worked out fine in the end. We had a birthday barbecue in the garden jumping in and out of our Olympic-sized paddling pool. The sunburn faded. The weather broke. (I am annoyingly happy). The house is no more messy than usual. There’s a great cover in the works for SOLD (one of Cadence Publishing’s first releases). I even reached a milestone in my own novel (halfway through my second draft).

I didn’t know what to think about the son leaving primary school. I accept it’s time for him to move on, but I’m not sure about me. The school has been such a constant in my life over the last 9 years. Our family have received such kindness there. And COVID has meant much less official fan fare – no end of year dance and parents weren’t invited in for the leavers’ ceremony.

Fortunately, my friends, Sarah and Zoe, showed me the way. We went out for a slap-up lunch to celebrate and had a conversation without the children who brought us together interrupting us.

As I left high school myself, one of the staff said we were a horrible year and she’d be glad to see us leave. It turned out, this was the prevailing view (one of my friend’s mums taught RE there). A third of our lives at this point had been about sitting in lessons or doing homework to keep these people happy, so the idea any of them could do without us really stung. I’ve been wary of academic goodbyes since.

But these teachers had got the memo. They looked sorry to see the children leave. And several of them came up to me to say things like ‘the last Beal’ and ‘the end of an era’, (I choose to think a good one.)

Then Zoe’s husband took the children for MacDonalds and ice cream. Later, Sarah took them down to the beach where they met most of their year group it seems.

What’s the opposite of an anti-climax? Where the anti-climax you are expecting doesn’t happen? (There’s probably also a word in German for being rescued by fellow parents who are better at this kind of stuff than you.)

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