Today my youngest child is leaving primary school. After the summer I will have no-one running home for lunch every day and after 11 years of about as much parental input into the school as anyone could have – founding and running the PTA, volunteering for just about everything – today I’m drawing that chapter in my life to a close. After the summer my son will be heading off to the city to school, for longer days and a dose of freedom which he is looking forward to. Parental involvement will be dramatically reduced, teachers will have to ask me my name on the infrequent occasions that my presence in school is required. Time will tell to what extent my son will tell me what is going on in his life and we will see how often he is side-tracked by the McDonald’s on the way to the station and the innate coolness of hanging out in town with his friends. He’s a good kid. I don’t think he will go far astray.
I’m left today with a strange empty feeling – nothing I’m sure to that which I will experience when the children leave home. But all the same it’s very strange. My son hasn’t come home yet – I’m sure he will have mixed feelings and will miss his friends enormously. We will try hard to make sure that the bonds to his village friends aren’t lost next year and that he can still be found sometimes playing football or hanging out by the schoolhouse. He is heading of to new and exciting experiences. I will be home with the same old ones. Something that every mother goes through. The first steps towards letting go. Giving your child the freedom to spread their wings and fly. With the proviso of course that if you’ve done a good job they will come home again.
By the end of the summer when everyone heads back to the school I’m sure I will be glad to get time to myself again and will be full of busyness and plans. But just today, just for now, I’m feeling a tiny bit left behind.
Have a nice weekend and for those of you just starting summer vacation – have a good one!