Friday, 5 July 2013

New beginnings start here

So, La Child walked out of school today knowing that it was quite possibly the last day she'd ever have to set foot in one. 'How do you feel?' we asked her. 

A shrug of the shoulders. 'Meh,' she replied, 'don't care. Spain tomorrow!'

So much for the tears, the wails and the much gnashing of teeth of everyone else. To be fair to her, leaving this school and not going to another hasn't ever been likely to be an issue for her. Leaving one place for another has never been an issue, whether it's been a case of moving school or house (and we've done plenty of both). La Child isn't someone who finds it hard to tear herself away from things. Well, other than perhaps books. 

So this is it. The start of a whole new journey. An adventure of frighteningly large proportions. To a certain extent there's a cushion, a safety net provided by her age and abilities: if it doesn't work out, then it's easy enough to put her back in the system in a year or two without any real harm to her education, and if anything it'll give her an experience that few children have the chance to enjoy. 

No ties, free from high fees, no longer being restricted to term dates, or a particular area or country... I honestly don't think we've even begun to truly understand the freedom this is likely to give us all, or the opportunities that this is in fact going to give La Child. And I have to say, I am so ridiculously jealous of her.

My last post was all about missed opportunities and, deep down, the weight of expectation. If we achieve nothing else, then I want to ensure that La Child feels no weight whatsoever. Whatever choices she eventually makes, whatever she ends up doing, I want there to be no possibility at all that she may be swayed by what she thinks we want for her. 

I've made a thing, ever since my very first post, of not really knowing what we're going to end up doing, or where we'll end up, but that's only half true. I know where I want to end up. I know what I want to do. I want to fly. I want to make flying my life. I've always wanted to make flying my life, but the weight of expectation has always intruded. When I was 17 it was the hopes and aspiration of my parents that stopped me. I don't mean to say that they would have been anything less than 100% supportive if I had chosen flying over university, they would have been wonderfully supportive, but I knew that deep down they'd be a little bit disappointed and I didn't want them to be. Then when I started working it became an overwhelming feeling that I had to make a go of the law, that I had a career, that I've come so far with it that of course I should continue. Flying could be a hobby, a weekend diversion, it needn't be serious. Then La Child was born and the pressures shifted slightly to a need to support her, to pay the bills and the school fees. A need to give her time, something that a flying career (and the training needed to get there) would prevent me from giving her. 

Now, though... Now life has taken an entirely new path. La Child is no longer at school. La Child is a little bit older, and I can afford to spend some time doing other things. La Child no longer requires an expensive private education, so we've no longer a need to live in an expensive area near an expensive school within commuting distance of a well paying job.... We've been through all this before. Now suddenly the opportunity to finally have a go at actually achieving a long standing dream presents itself. 

There are barriers, of course. I'm older than your average newbie pilot. My eyesight's not the best. I need to sit the exams again and pass flight tests. I need to pass medicals. Houses need to be sold, lifestyles need to change. But today marks the start of what could be the very beginnings of the process, and I have to say I'm really quite excited about it, even if La Child seems entirely nonchalant. 

We're off for a two week break to Spain tomorrow. Time to talk, and plan, and look forward with a ruddy great big smile on all our faces.