I heard an ad on the radio the other day that spoke about enrolling for prep next year at school, and my mind instantly rewound a few years. It seems like yesterday that I was struggling to accept the fact that my baby, my little girl was going to be ripped from my arms to start her school life, under someone else’s supervision, to say the least! How were we ever going to cope with that? Maybe the real question was, “How was I ever going to cope with that?”
I will never forget coming home from our summer holiday, and running out to the local supermarket to pick up some necessary “supplies”. My little girl was always by my side. Stuck, you might say, so every time I was at the supermarket, so was she, always ready for a little chat and a quick hug whenever the need would arise. But this particular day, as I was driving out of the shopping car park, I glanced in my rear vision mirror, expecting to see her beautiful, smiling face, but she wasn’t there. She was at home with Dad. All of a sudden, I burst into tears, as the realisation swept over me that in a few days, she would be starting school and I would be driving out of that supermarket car park by myself, every single grocery day, and her beautiful smiling face would not be the heart warming reflection that would greet me every time I glanced back in my rear vision mirror.
I drove home in a blurred state of tears and sobs and drove into our driveway to find my husband in the garage, looking terrified at the sorry sight of his wife. Immediately he ran to me and said “What’s wrong?” “She’s starting school in a few days, and won’t be with me all the time anymore!” I managed to incoherently string these few words together. I’m sure he didn’t quite understand every word, my blubbering made that impossible, even to him, my best friend for the last thousand years who knew me inside out! But he didn’t need to understand, he knew exactly what I had said, and wrapped me in a hug, trying to console the inconsolable.
Well, we started school and it was all okay. Took a while to settle, (for both of us!) but we made it! I still long for the days when we would spend limitless time together doing whatever, from checking out caterpillars in the garden, to crafting the most amazing works of art! I will never forget those times, they were priceless, but I have come to understand that every stage in their development is new and exciting. It’s useless to look back in time and long for the past, when the present is so wonderful and exploding with the promise of limitless excitement and fun, not to mention boundless love.
I remember when my kids were little saying to my mum, “I just want time to sit down and enjoy a hot coffee!” Well, that time has come, I can have all the coffees I want now! But, I don’t really care, because as yummy as they are, they will never replace the precious time and memories I have with my kids, those magical moments that are locked in a special place in my heart, never to be replaced. But, there is room, room for the memories that today will create and the promise of so many more to come.