Friday, 21 December 2012

A new chapter of her life

Yesterday, we made our way to Coco's new school for registration.

I woke up at 6.15am without the alarm.

I rummaged Coco's wardrobe for the whitest and most spotless set of uniform to iron.

As I ironed her primary school uniform, it dawned on me that it was the last time she would ever wear it.

Melancholy and nostalgia flooded me.

I remember the first time she skipped off her school bus, and smiled perkily with a sparkle in her eyes, that her friends did not mind her milo stains from recess on her uniform.

I remember her disappointment that her favourite Chinese-cum-form teacher punished her by making her stand in the hall for not bringing her silent-reading storybook.

I tried to recall something from her P2 to P5 school life, and I realised they were all a blur.

I have been a working mother. I can't remember anything except the few incidents about teachers that I blogged. Was I ever involved in her studies apart from her PSLE year?

The melancholy was soon overtaken by the excitement of her embarking on her new journey.

I took the MRT and bus with Coco to help her familiarise with the way to school. That would be the second time I did it with her. The first time we did it was to buy her books, a few weeks before.

When we were there to buy books, the school compound was empty except for some girls who were back for their CCAs.

I thought the school looked bright and clean. And it was a fine school.

And that was it.

Yesterday, during registration, the whole secondary one cohort was there.

Girls from different primary schools formed the majority - of course. It seized me that these children were the top brains in their schools, no matter which school they came from. Be it top schools, or neighbourhood schools, they were all among the top one, two, ten or twenty in their own schools.

The realisation that this is a good school, the dream school of many children for years hit me. In the words of the principal,"Before today, you only get to see the exterior of the school. Everytime you drive past the school, you would wish your child is studying in here. And now it has come true."

It is Coco's dream school since P1. In fact, she got to know the school from other children in her class. Everybody wanted to come here, and she is one of the more privileged ones to make it.

While the pride of Coco's new school swamped me, another part of me worries.

For the worry wart that I am, I think I would worry wherever Coco went.

If she had gone to a neighbourhood school, I would be really worried that she gets into bad company.

Now that she is in a good school, I am worried that she can't catch up.

See, we bought the books a few weeks ago. Most children with the slightest ounce of diligence in them would devour the books, especially the literature books.

No leh. Coco had left them on her bookshelves, like she did not have them in advance.

After two months of holidays, Coco is still at the second chapter of Maths.

In William's words, she has gone from a 50% 250 (score) environment to a 100% 250 environment.

I know of a blogger-mother whose child went to a top girls' school with 252 and eventually did well, given that the child is a gepper.

The mother said that some who got 270+ were struggling while others in the range of 250+ were acing their exams.

I hope it applies to Coco. We have too little faith in her, and then we rationalise why we have little confidence in her. We put her down too often. We don't lift her up enough. We nit-pick on her 'best' and break down 'the best' and 'her best' for definition. We are not the most nurturing or encouraging parents.

Despite that, she still exceeded our expectations.

She went for a selection test for an Art elective programme yesterday. I told her she didn't practise enough and didn't google for ideas despite knowing what she would be tested. She just said this,"I did my best."

And I believe her this time.

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