Like many mums in Australia, today is back to school day. But in our household, today was a special day – the day when my baby started High School.
This morning the nerves were strong – me hoping that she would settle in quickly, find a group of like-minded friends and enjoy her new school.
Her – hoping and wishing all of the same, plus more. That she would be liked, not hazed and would find her dreams. Full of teenage angst, confidence and bravado all rolled into one package.
“Let’s drive past my old school mum”. So we did. It felt strange not pulling in and dropping her at the old school, but she seemed to need the reconnection, the remembrance of where she came from in order to face the new.
I was all ready to park and walk her to the classroom into her new life. “You can drop me here mum. Have a brilliant day – I know I will”. And in a swirl of skirt, a flash of smile and a flick of her long hair … she was gone.
Where did 13 years go so fast? I didn’t cry when she started primary school – happy in the knowledge we still had a long journey together to go. But driving home this morning the tears came.
Memories of a chubby baby batting a balloon and waiting until she had a big enough audience before she took her first steps. Innumerable school musicals – always in the back row because she was so tall. Learning to read and progressing from Spot to Harry Potter in less than two years.
Now – I have a baby no longer, but a confident, intelligent, beautiful young lady. We all have to adjust. We all have to let go. We all have to allow to grow.
But today I mourn the passing of an era. I mourn for all the days I wished her to just “grow up” … and I mourn for a not taking longer to cherish the baby days.
Time goes by – seemingly slowly but in reality the fastest nanosecond of light. Today I vow to celebrate and enjoy the moments as they arrive. To not be caught napping through life – but to be fully present and fully alive.
Welcome to the next phase of your life Rachel. May it be as exciting and as full of promise as you dream it could be.