HAMMERSMITH -- I went to nine schools. And today I have just dropped off my 11 year-old at only her second school in her life.
I expected some drama. Some kind of excitement. Some tears maybe, or anxiety.
I kept my composure.
She's ready for a change. All the worrying is done. Now she wants to get on with it.
It helps of course that schools, like businesses, are getting better at bringing in new people. There was a special entrance today. There was a lady on the pavement to direct the kids, but more importantly, to handle the parents.
It's all quite clever.
When I went to my first boarding school, age 11, in Nairobi. It was my 4th school. I remember my mother still sewing name tags in my smalls as we drove up the drive. We only had half the list of clothes because we had no idea what a "tackie" or a "slip" were.
My guide was an exhausted and cynical 10 year-old, called Satu. He assured me I would be flogged in my first few days. Told me which teacher had a twitch or a personality disorder. He explained where the best Marmite was to be found in the tubs of breaded Marmite that were deposited in the quad a break time.
And where to find my dorm room, which I shared with 35 other boys. Including Freddie. Who cried every night until Christmas.
Not so today.
Like young executives walking into the office, the kids didn't even look back.
It's about change. New challenges. New responsibilities. And a chance to do bigger and better things that you could do at the old place.
Amen to that.