My firstborn baby girl is getting all grown-up.
On Friday, October 30, 2020, my eighteen-year-old daughter drove herself off to timetabled classes at college in Horsham for the very last time... ever.
My eldest's school uniform finally hit the ditch as she became a witch for the day, with her Year 12 cohort choosing the timely theme of Halloween to dress-up in for a day of celebrations, roaming the hallowed turf of their school grounds for their final spell of secondary education.
My five-foot-eight-inches-tall baby girl made quite a sight driving through town in her little yellow Mini, wearing a witch's hat and carting a load of gladwrap and garden gnomes in the boot.
The exams are yet to come of course, with only eight sleeps now until the English examination kicks off more than a month of stress filled assessments to be faced by frazzled students.
These Year 12, 2020, students though, are a bunch we should be incredibly proud of.
What a dreadful year of disappointments they have endured, with the highlights of their last year of secondary school drained to the dregs by a pandemic.
Special birthday celebrations, social occasions, driver's license tests, assemblies, dinners, ceremonies to mark their rites of passage, all stolen by the bug.
These resilient young people just keep slogging away though, as do their faithful teachers, logging on to technology until it hurts, but having to adapt because it is the only way forward.
I'm so proud to know them and to have watched many of them growing-up through first mum's group, kindergarten, primary school and secondary school.
I've volunteered at every stage; fundraising at kinder, parents club in primary school, presenting special religious instruction, joining chaplaincy committee and school council.
My girls haven't always loved me being there, but I definitely loved meeting everyone in their world and helping out if a donut needed deep frying or a dish needed washing.
Now my eldest daughter is ready to fly, to launch herself into a world where she is unrestricted by the pigeonhole she has been popped into in her own home town. It's a very daunting and exciting time, and I do feel pretty darn proud of the young woman, with the assistance of our community, I've helped to raise.
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