I’m feeling emotional. You see, a few years ago, my daughter started at Primary school but this week it’s her last day at Secondary school.
Ok. This wasn’t a few years ago, it was 14 years ago! 14 years ago, my little girl started school. It was a lovely primary school near our house where we walked to school when we could. She had a royal blue cardigan and a book bag that scrapped on the floor as she walked. Her hair was ‘on the side’ as we called it; a side parting with a ponytail on one side of her bobbed, curly hair. New shoes, bright white, knee length socks and a grey pinafore that reached below her knees. I have no photograph; we just didn’t document everything then. It’s ok. I don’t need a photographic reminder as it’s imprinted in my mind as clear as if it was only a few years ago. Except now, it’s her last day and I feel emotional.
First born children experience first born parents. Every first experience is also a first for us parents too. Their first steps, their first tooth, their first day at school, their first sleep-over. It’s an exhausting, empowering and exciting time. However, I’m aware that it is also some of their last moments. Their last day of primary school, loosing their last baby tooth, the last year where they believe in Santa and the last time they hold your hand to cross the road. Parenting can be really tough let’s not make it all rosy, but at times like these all you remember are the memories you built together so you are bound to look backwards. You are bound to replay those precious moments that have become part of your family history.
Sitting and watching the class of 2018 shake the Head Teachers’ hand for the last time made me realise that it’s time to start looking forwards again. To start looking for those ‘firsts’ again rather than those ‘lasts’. The first time I shall drop her off at University, the first time she brings home a serious boyfriend and the first time she calls me to say she misses home. I am bound to feel emotional as there is so much change after the stability of living our lives by terms. However, there is much to be thankful for, much to be proud of and much to look forward to.
If your teenager is leaving school or moving away to pastures new remember this; you made it to this moment and helped your child become the emerging adult that they are. It is inevitable to look back and remember all the moments that have marked their childhood. Over this past month, that is all I seem to have been doing! Now is the time to both reminisce and be excited for the future but don’t forget to be proud of this moment. Live and remember this moment. After all, each moment is a ‘stand alone’ moment that builds our bank of family memories.