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Monday, 9 February 2015

The Gap Between Holland and Italy

Last Friday I was dropping Imogen off to a friend's house so she could have a play with her school friends. When I got there, the mum was on the phone to the mum of another child in their class. They were talking about homework.

It suddenly occurred to me that I hadn't heard anything about home work. There had been no note in Imogen's bag explaining what Grade 4 homework was going to look like. At that moment I felt so excluded. It was like I was back in high school and the popular girls were ignoring me.

We are in Holland, everyone else is in Italy.

I sent an email to the class teacher who explained exactly what her thinking was - and she's spot on. Quite simply she is an incredible teacher and we are blessed to have her looking after Imogen.

I feel exceptionally guilty for the relief I feel at not having to cram another 15 minutes of home work into our afternoons. I feel guilty that I'm not doing enough to help Imogen keep up.

On my evening walk with a friend (also a mother of a child in the class) I'm explaining all of this homework worry to her.

And then it hits me.            The gap.

The gap between Imogen and her peers is just getting wider. Her friends will learn to drive. They will meet boys. They will go to university.  They will get married. They will have families. In the middle of our evening walk I'm doubled over with the grief as the realisation hits me and the tears take hold.

I know that the extrapolation from not having anything other than a home reader for homework to what the future holds is not a good way to think. But that feeling of being left in Holland creeps up on you when you least expect it.

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