As off you go.

To those of you who read this after putting your little ones to bed, to those of you who dream, as you drown in everyday parenting, to those of you who cannot remember life before children, I have only one thing to say… it does end, and as you look back you will shake your head in wonder, for those years seem to have lasted but a moment.

I wrote this just days before my son left Ireland to work for a time abroad. I didn’t post it at the time but I’m ready to do so now.

Moments ago I stood beside an eight year old you as you excitedly begged me to buy you a suit like your Dads for you first communion. Today I stood, dwarfed in your shadow as you showed me your new suit. The suit you will wear in your first job, many miles from home.

You leave in four days.

As time ticks by every hour seems to hasten that moment when I must cut the hidden umbilical cord. A connection, invisible to the Lessons children teach usnaked eye, which united us seconds after you were born, as you lay in my arms and took your very first breath.

In my mind I practise that moment when we share our final hug, I breathing you in, desperately trying to save to memory all that you are, while you pull in the opposite direction. Nature naturally separating us, boy to man.
As I do so I hope I can look you in the eye and let you know I am excited and genuinely happy for you. For it is only right that you seize the life we have given you and live it as you wish.
I hope I can be strong and let you know I wish you every good wish in your new adventure, but as you walk away I might just quietly shed a tear for my wee small boy who is all grown up, from a mother who will never forget so many magical moments of mothering.

The magical moments, many of you reading, are living each day.

photo credit: Alain Bachellier via photopin cc
photo credit: JonathanCohen via photopin cc

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28 thoughts on “As off you go.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it. Re reading it tonight only a week after we visited him made me miss him all over again.
      It’s a strange feeling to miss someone yet not really wish for them to be home.

  1. I love it when you get all mushy and sentimental, Tric. The way you capture the poignancy of motherhood pulls on the heartstrings and seems truly timeless. My best to your son as he heads off on his new adventure and to you as you watch him go. ❤

    1. Our reunion was as close to perfect as it could be. We’d a lovely time and he looks great.
      I faltered on our final hug but managed to redeem myself, almost. However if you happened to speak with my husband I would think he’d tell you it was all picture no sound that last night after our goodbye.
      I’m much better now though for having seen him. Thanks for asking. It’s all ahead of you some day.

  2. Tric, that touched my heart!!! As I get ready to spend at least another 5-7 years abroad, I have things to look forward to… But I didn’t quite spend much time thinking about what my parents are going through… I can now sense their anxiety.. Their palpable fears, their sorrow on not being able to stop me and not willing to let me go… Oh, this brought tears to my eyes!!!

    1. I’m actually delighted that both you and Aidan read this and could imagine the impact of your leaving on your parents. My job here is done.

  3. I am trying so hard not to cry right now, what a beautiful, personal post. I am already thinking that I don’t know where the last 5 years have gone, as I get ready to send Destroyer off to kindergarten this fall. Don’t remind me how fast it goes!!!

    1. Reading your comment earlier I was reminded of the sadness I felt when my children went to playschool. That feeling was not a lot different to saying goodbye twenty years later.
      It’s hard but there is also great pleasure and pride in seeing them blossom.

    1. Thanks Beth. Sometimes it’s good to write in the moment, as I’d not be able to remember that night as clearly now four months later.

  4. It must be a bittersweet moment to have your son leaving so soon. After the mothering, there’s the grandmothers, of course. I’m certainly looking forward to grandfathering one day.

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