Sometimes it is hard being a Mom.

Today many of you will say a fond farewell to the baby you knew. Your little one will leave the safety of your arms and walk in the classroom door to a new world. No longer will you be the main influence on their lives. An unfamiliar phrase will soon become common, ‘Teacher says’. A new era in their little lives will have begun. You will be no less their mother, but they will be a little less your credit: <a href="">Martin Burns</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Here in my home my youngest begins sixth class. I can remember the tears of her first day, and they were not hers! Now seven years later I am relieved, knowing that she has another year in this school. It has been a wonderfully happy experience for her. Next year she will leave this lovely place which has introduced her to new friends, given her a love of Irish, and encouraged her to be the best she can be. Next year another phase in our lives will begin. Thankfully not until next year.

As I brought her to school today, this tall twelve year old, a senior, we both ‘Awwed’ over the many little ones we saw, hand in hand with their parents. Some skipped, some strolled and some fell at the last hurdle and needed to be carried. I said goodbye to my ‘little one’ at the gates, and as she walked away, carefully groomed ponytail bouncing from side to side, the years fell away, and with a physical pain in my heart I wondered, ‘Where did my five year old go?’

On arriving home I pulled out my old writing case. I was looking for a card. A card sent to me eight years ago when this girl was that five year old. I sat on my bed and looked at it. On the cover was a black and white drawing of two teddy bears, sitting on a bench backs facing me, arms around each other. It said ‘Thinking of you’. Inside, was a now yellowed cut out from a newspaper, below which my Mom had written,

‘Tric, I have this from your 1st day at school. Love from Mum.

First Day At School.

She will take him by the hand
And lead him through the portals
Of a strange unknown land,
The youngest of her brood
The fledgling leaves the nest_
She will pretend and jest
To hide the rising tears
And grasp his little fingers tighter
As if to cling a little longer
To remembered years.
But she is a mother
And her unquiet fears
She must conceal and smile
Upon his shining face
Upturned for that embrace
Of parting
Her tears will flow
As homewards-alone-she will go.

(Mai O’Higgins).

This morning reading that poem I indulged myself and let tears fall. I cried for my babies who were babies no longer. I cried for the mothers facing this moment today. I also cried for the mothers who were missing their babies, and for Daniel and Ben who were not putting on school uniforms today.

First day at school is a big day in all our lives. I hope where ever you are that your little one was happy and that you managed to wait until they were settled before any tears were shed.

photo credit: Martin Burns via photopin cc

17 thoughts on “Sometimes it is hard being a Mom.

  1. That is very beautiful Tric, especially touching that your mum kept it all those years. This will be me next Monday as I take my babies hand and walk him to school, him full if glee and me pretending to be

    1. I know Naomi, I felt it so badly on all my children, but the last was particularly difficult.
      I couldn’t believe it when it arrived in the post, and it was so perfect. I will now keep it for my daughter.
      I wish you all the best next Monday. xx

    1. The teacher the year my youngest went to school was so very understanding. She was an older teacher, but not a mother and was fantastic. You must have seen so many through the years.

  2. My twelve year old is in high school right now and she has changed so much since her last year at primary school. Now, when she goes back to school there are no tears. (Well none that I want to admit to anyway). 🙂

    1. Aw I’m sorry, but it is so true to what we all experience on The first day at school. Sorry I hit a nerve, but in a sick way I hope you enjoyed it.

    1. Now Jackie, how bold are you? Here we are all weeping and wailing and there is you!! 🙂
      (Bold is a word we Irish use instead of naughty)

  3. My daughter took her baby to preschool for the first time today. Called me, sobbing, and my heart hurt so bad for her. She made me laugh though, remembering how I felt and that I survived. I know she will. It’s so bittersweet. We love to see them reach and climb milestones. But it’s so hard to see them go…..

    1. Aw I feel for your daughter. A lovely day, but so difficult too. At least she had you to remember what it felt like and to reassure her that she’ll survive. Does she live near you?

  4. I cried when I read it Tric. Lovely poem. I also watched my little one heading to the same class, all excited to be starting a new year and seeing all her friends again. I also stood at Ben’s bedroom door and looked at his school uniform sitting on the dresser in exactly the same position we put it when he took it off last October, and the tears flowed. Dropping Becky down to school watching all the young children starting their first day, skipping along, excitement on their faces as they entered a whole new world and trepidation on the face of their parents as they entered a new phase of their lives. I also thought of Daniels’ mum and what she must be going through. Also a few new friends I have gained in the wrong circumstances, going through their own difficult day. Of Luke who would have started second class, of Conor who would have gone to sixth class and of little Shane, who like the little ones, would have been starting on his own journey for the first time. Hard day for all parents. Beautiful poem and lovely piece, Thanks Tric.

    1. Bryan I thought of you so much as I prepared for going back to school. It is a never ending nightmare for you, and all those who have lost a part of them. Hugs to you and yours. Just letting you know Ben is not forgotten. x

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