Are your children going back to school soon? Do you ever forget, even for a moment? Or am I the only one counting down the weeks, days, or even at times hours, until the official day I get my house back?
Please tell me I’m not alone.
Today I woke up to yet another million facebook posts about kids going back to school. Like I didn’t remember, as I sat looking out at the pouring rain, that the Summer that never arrived in Ireland, was almost officially over.
As I flicked through the endless headings I began to wonder had I grown hard? My youngest is only days away from beginning secondary school. I am no longer the mother of ‘little ones’. Why was I not upset? When the other three had moved on I’d been heartbroken. (Well not quite, but unlikely as it is, they might read this). Now my baby is taller than myself and beginning to share more and more time with her older sisters discussing all manner of grown up sisterly things. Is she not slipping away from me?
So I thought I’d better try to tap into that part of me which normally is overly developed and find my regrets. I took out old photo albums and gazed at the many baby photos before me. Still not feeling it I read in my diary memories of days I can never return to. It took longer than I thought but eventually I felt it, that sting behind my eyes of tears beginning to well up. Ah yes I wasn’t immune after all, I did feel regret. I was a good mother.
Feeling relieved I put my diary down and wiped my eyes, only to discover it was eye strain not tears I’d felt. Disappointed but not without hope, I went searching for my ‘baby’ to look at her with fresh eyes, as if I were a stranger. Maybe seeing the beautiful young lady she is becoming I’d feel that pang of regret, that desperate need to hold back time.
She was in the kitchen, (not tidying up). Looking at her I felt a little proud. Perhaps all the rain of the Summer had done her no harm. I know I’m bias but before me stood a beautiful, confident girl. She smiled in my direction and her face lit up. I hugged her and gave her a gentle kiss on her forehead.
‘How I’ll miss you darling on Monday’.
‘Wednesday!’ I shrieked,’Wednesday? Not Monday?’ I roared, with more than a little regret in my tone. Thankfully years of mothering experience has taught me well and I instantly tried to cover my reaction, shouting, ‘How fantastic darling. That’s great, I’ve an extra two days with you!’.
She looked at me and I could see by her expression she was not convinced by my poorly acted ‘joy’. As she walked away she said, ‘Yep Wednesday Mum, we can do things together Monday AND Tuesday’.
I’ll leave the vision of my disappointed, ‘I’ll not have the house to myself for another six days’, face to yourselves to imagine as she left me standing alone in my kitchen.
Suffice to say a new countdown has begun.
photo credit: patries71 via photopin cc
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photo credit: GlacierTim via photopin cc