Boy-Who-Asks-Questions starts school tomorrow.
His first day.
He’s a confident and bright little guy. I know that no matter how much that oversized backpack hits the back of his legs, he will quite happily step-together-step-together his way up those school steps.
And it’s not as if I’ve had him all to myself since he was born. I’ve shared him with carers at his day-care centre while I’ve worked part-time. And on our ‘days off’ I’ve shared him with swimming lessons, the grocery shopping, not to mention his adoring little sister, Little Fairy.
So really, there should be no reason to get too emotional tomorrow. Right?
Today something dawned on me. It dawned on me as we played in the park down the road from our house, that we have regularly visited since we moved back to Australia when he was only 19 months old.
The park with the boat he likes to sail to New Zealand, past the sharks, to see his buddy Hamish. The park with the bumpy path, now etched into his knees, thanks to those compulsory scooter stacks. The park where his little white tushy was exposed for the first of many ‘outdoor’ wees.
It’s also the park with the climbing frame he’d only negotiate while gripping one of my hands. But today he ran over to the climbing frame, and when I followed to offer him my hand, he pushed me back.
“No mum. I can do it,” he said.
And there it was. He didn’t need me.
That dependency that used to make me feel so tired, so hamstrung, so trapped over the past five years, was now unraveling. And today I realised for the first time, just how much I’m going to miss it.
Yes, I am excited about this new phase of independence and learning. Every phase has its wonder and its challenges.
And yes, it’s two years until Little Fairy starts school. But our mid-week trio is now a duo – we’ll both miss him terribly the first time we visit that park without him.
So tomorrow when he releases his tight grip on my hand and runs into that classroom, the chance of tears are high.
Not from him. Me.
I just hope I manage to contain any spontaneous sobs.