Nine weeks of summer holidays has flown past (no, really), and here we are in the “OMG One Week Left?” phase. The Weasels are either going to try and pack in everything they thought they would like to do 10 weeks ago, but have been too lazy to organize, or they are going to lie about like dead bumblebees, complaining of boredom.
Laurel is going into Grade 9, her second year of high school, so she is looking forward to sneering at the terrified Grade 8ers, but still junior enough to be a newbie herself. Katie will be in Grade 6, two years off graduating from elementary and still very much at home in the laid-back lifestyle of the junior school. Lily is in Grade 3, with years before she needs to worry about anything much.
At dinner tonight, Dim asked where Laurel would have been if we had stayed in England, and we were all brought up short by the answer, once we worked it out. She would be Year 10, her final year of intense tuition before her GCSE year which is mostly revision and exams from January onward. She would be one year off the magical “Sixteen” when, according to UK 15-year olds I have spoken to recently, the Government recognizes you as an adult, you can leave school, leave home, get married, legally smoke, and generally put aside all childish things, including any pretense at respect for your parents. Phew.
Katie’s friends in the UK are preparing themselves for their first day at Secondary School; all those tiny, skinny, prepubescent kids, mixed in with the giants of Year 11. I look at my little girl and shudder at the thought of her trying to find her way in that world. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not overprotective, but I want my weasels to enjoy their childhood, to play and have fun for as long as possible.
So, when Laurel’s friends in the UK are finishing their A Levels, she’ll just be graduating from high school, ready to start 2 years of college courses, followed by at least 4 years of university. While she is doing that, she will volunteer for charity organizations, take leadership roles in summer camps, find work in retail and sports, and develop a (hopefully) impressive resume. We also hope that she will continue to spend time with us and her sisters, waiting to fly away when she, not society, feels the time is right.