Memories of kindergarten
IT'S amazing how little - and how much - these four Northern Rivers high school students have changed since they had their first 15 minutes of fame when they appeared in The Northern Star's inaugural My First Year supplement back in 2001.
"He looks so cute there, what happened?" asked Daniel Small's dad Guy Small when The Northern Star showed him the photo of his now strapping teenage boy as a five-year-old.
"That does seem like a very long time ago."
And while 11 years may be a drop in the ocean to some, for 15 and 16-year-olds it's not much less than a lifetime.
Taylah Blanch, 16, has vivid memories of getting jungle gym splinters and squishing the greedy caterpillars that ate the green beans she planted in the school vegie patch in her first year of school.
But she has no recollection of posing for this original shot, and only a hazy idea of who her kindy mates actually were.
"I remember my grandma saying I looked pretty cute in the picture, though," she says.
Back then the pint-sized foursome made up the entire kindergarten class of Caniaba Public School. But they weren't classmates for long.
Severe asthma forced Tahlia Webster, now 15 and in Year 10, to drop out of kindergarten halfway through the year, and Taylah switched schools in year one.
Only Year 11 students Daniel, 16, and Lachlan Crowther, 16, finished primary school at Caniaba, eventually reuniting with Tahlia at Richmond River High School.
"I still hang with Lachie, but I don't know if Tahlia is even at this school," Daniel said.
Likewise, Tahlia didn't realise the boys were her former kindy mates until they got together to pose for this photo. Taylah, now in Year 11 at Kadina High, recognised Daniel, but nobody else.
"Daniel lives down the road from me, so I still see him at the bus stop pretty often, but I don't remember the other two."
Keep your eyes out for this year's 2012 kindergarteners when they appear in the My First Year supplement in The Northern Star on Monday with Tweed area kindy kids in The Northern Star on Tuesday.
The annual My First Year kindy picture special will appear in Monday's Northern Star.
This year we are also publishing pictures of kindy kids from the Tweed in their own special on Tuesday.