Written in the Album of a Child, William Wordsworth (1770 - 1850)
Small service is true service while it lasts
Of friends, however humble, scorn not one:
The daisy, by the shadow that it casts,
Protects the lingering dew-drop from the sun.
In Italy children start proper school in September of the year they are six. In Britain they start school in September but their fifth birthday has to fall between September and the following August. So if your birthday is in December you will be the youngest in your class in Italy but among the older ones in Britain. In Italy now, all the children born in 2008 will be getting ready to start school in September. It is a great event, a huge landmark in their lives and of their families. They will already have been at Scuola Materna for three years and so used to being away from home during the day, but starting proper school, the elementary or Primary school is a sign that they are now children, not babies or toddlers any more and it brings a lump to your throat.
Today I met a little six year old girl with a friend . She told me in great detail about her new school bag and her pencil case that have been chosen and bought and are now waiting to be used. She had chosen Minnie Mouse and Daisy duck, world wide children's favourites, designed over fifty years ago and still going strong. This little girl is hoping her best friend will be in her class but will have to wait and see.
Wordsworth's stanza above seems appropriate thinking of children starting school and making new friends on their first step towards an education. Six is a wonderful age and here is another rhyme from A.A. Milne the author of Winnie-the-Pooh about being six.From the book Now we are Six.
When I was one
I was just begun,
When I was two
I was nearly new,
When I was three
I was hardly me,
When I was four
I was not much more,
When I was five
I was just alive,
But now I'm six
I'm as clever as clever
So I think I'll be six
For ever and ever.
All best wishes to all the children starting school, everywhere .