The first day of the end
Filed under: MummyBloggers
Social media has been awash with ‘first day at school’ photos recently and it made my heart smile to see so many lovely happy faces setting off on this new journey in life.
It’s one that starts out at four or five years of age and continues into the early twenties and nothing prepares us for that first day saying ‘goodbye’ to our little treasures. It’s been a few years (quite a few) since I said one of those ‘goodbyes,’ but as the years continue, there’s always another ‘goodbye’ to say and they never get any easier.
My ‘little’ boy who is now 17, packed his schoolbag and fixed his tie just the other morning. I had his school lunch prepared from the night before and as we had breakfast and talked about the year ahead, I began to realise that I was going to miss these days very soon.
This time next year, I won’t have this little morning routine anymore. I won’t be making that school lunch or washing that school uniform. For 20 years now, those things have been part of my daily routine. As he walked out the door, I said ‘goodbye, work well and enjoy’ as I have said each morning to three sons over two decades.
The front door closed behind him and I know that in just nine months, his life and mine are about to change forever. This life that I’ve known for 20 years is nearing an end. The boy is planning, like his brothers before him, to venture off to college.
Suddenly I realised that the photo I took that morning is not just one of his first day back in school, but the last ‘first day’ school photo I will ever take. I didn’t put this photo on social media. It’s too personal. It’s one for the family album, not a World Wide Web album. It’s one I will treasure forever and one that will remind me that I did spend 20 wonderful years preparing, rearing, and caring for my children’s school years.
A tear escaped my eye that morning and I kept it to myself, but now I’m crying because my little boy is very much a ‘big’ boy. But really, I should smile because he’s grown into a delightful young man and be happy that on this first day of his last year in school, he left our home with a smile on his face.
School days really are the best days of our life, and that goes for us mums too. Don’t complain over making the school lunches (I did for years) because the day is coming when you’re not going to be making them anymore and it’s then that you realise how special they actually were and how special those school days were.
Too soon they are gone!
Grainne McCool is a mum to three boys from Co. Donegal, who thinks parenting is a learning process in which you're never done learning.
Image via Pinterest
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