I look in the mirror and see lines and wrinkles. My birthday is fast approaching, which tells me I’m another year older. Yet as I type this I feel as young as I did in my twenties.
However I am not the same person I was back then, nor am I the same mother.
During the week I read an online discussion about the rights and wrongs of carrying children’s school bags to school for them. Many were of the opinion that children should carry them themselves and I nodded…for once upon a time I was that mum. I thought it would make my children independent and responsible, help them realise I wasn’t a doormat. Maybe it worked because my eldest carried her bags every day and is now a responsible independent adult? But then again I don’t think my youngest ever did, yet she too is a responsible independent girl.
So was I wrong or right? And with which child?
That’s the thing, looking back I don’t think there is a right and wrong. With time my thinking has changed and I’ve become a more mellow mother than I was in my early twenties. This morning I saw a father, laden with school bags, bring his girls to school. As I watched him chat and the girls skip along beside him, my mind wandered back to my own dad who is thirty years dead this year. I have wonderful memories of him loving and caring for and about me. As my mind wandered back in time, for a moment I missed my dad so much. What I would have given to have him carry my bag once more.
I wonder what the young girls I watched today will remember in years to come of their journey’s to school. Will it be how independent and responsible they were at a young age, or will they remember their dads carrying their bags as they skipped along? Or neither, perhaps it is only an important memory to us, their parents?
It set my mind to thinking of my own children’s school days. If I had my time over again I know they would not carry their schoolbags. Not because I don’t think they should, but because given half a chance I’d love to once more walk the road to school, watching them run, skip and chat freely.
Schooldays are almost over in our house leaving no more opportunities to help carry bags, but I do hope they know that in the years ahead, when the going gets tough, that their dad and I will always be there to help carry their bags in life.