My youngest started school last week. I am supposed to be sad about this.
I’m supposed to slink off and cry into a cappucino while mourning the passing of the last (nearly) 5 years. I’m supposed to go home to an empty house (for I am one of those oddballs who chooses to stay at home to ply my trade as a mother, rather than do an actual paid job) and survey my newly quiet nest with a pang of nostalgia. The reality for me is quite different. When my third baby disappeared off through the doors of the infant school that first day, I didn’t feel any sadness. I wasn’t sure I felt anything at all. Just business as usual. Apart from a little ‘whoop’ I was trying to suppress so as not to appear callous. I’ll try and put into words what that little whoop was all about…
That whoop had something to do with a new freedom (for me and for her) the excitement of the new, the relief at moving on to a new stage of life. Don’t get me wrong, the stages this far have been lovely, but like that time I ate a whole Battenberg, you can have too much of a good thing. I’m glad I no longer have a pre-schooler in the house – and I’m even more delighted to welcome my little school girl.
Someone much cleverer than me once wrote that ‘there’s a time for everything’. Well this is Megan’s time to shine and grow. I want the next thing for her… and for me… and for the rest of the family. I don’t want time to stand still and I want the chance to face the next opportunities/ challenges around the corner.
I should of course caveat all this by saying that clearly there is no right or wrong feeling you should feel when leaving your first, second, third, 15th or only child at the school gates. And whatever the emotions are – they can feel pretty overwhelming. I will still be in that cafe with friends, offering a hug and a cuppa to anyone who needs one.
‘What will you do now?’ I’m asked… I’m hoping it’s more of the same… but much better. Megan has lots to learn at school and so do I.