moving on

I woke up this morning itching to write about yesterday. I can’t let it go by unmarked, I thought. I have to put the feelings somewhere.
clouds and sunshine

You see, yesterday was my nine-year-old son’s last ever day of first school. Yes, my eldest little thinker and feeler (and blimey is he both!) has left behind the place he’s spent a huge chunk of the last six years. The place where, despite its ups and downs (he managed to start the school just as it went through possibly the most tumultuous period in its history!) he has felt nurtured and appreciated and above all, happy.

And this makes me feel… I’m not sure… in many ways happy, because he’s definitely ready to move on, but also kind of sad, because it’s the end of an era, and mostly just plain old nostalgic. I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that my baby is not a baby anymore. And yes, I know, I KNOW he hasn’t been a baby for flippin’ years, I mean, he’s all whippet-slim and clear-eyed and angular and asking me questions about politics and what I think he should do about classroom dynamics and relationships between his peers. What baby is like that? Yep, he’s a big boy and I want him to be a big boy but, shit, sometimes it feels like yesterday that he lay newly born and softly warm and wriggly on my chest and I said ‘it’s a baby!’ in amazement and looked at my husband and we cried and laughed and… you know… felt that huge surge of wonder and love that changes everything forever.

But it’s been nine years. And he’s growing up.

We had a picnic on the playing fields after school yesterday – a get-together of parents and kids from my son’s year and all their siblings too. It was baking hot so we adults sat in the shade of the trees as the kids dashed around madly, occasionally rushing up to where we were sprawled to stuff their faces with crisps before bounding off again. They signed each other’s T-shirts, did each other’s hair and spoke in their funny language of year-four-isms that I normally find maddening but which yesterday sounded almost, ALMOST endearing.

I chatted with some of my friends and fellow parents (always lovely) and, though I did wonder afterwards if I should have made more of an effort to talk to everyone, really I was just content to observe. I enjoyed looking out from under the shade of the trees that line the yard where my son and I first stepped six years ago, at the people who I’ve walked alongside these past years. Some I’ve come to know really well, others I barely know at all and yet these are the faces that have lined every school play, every assembly, every fete, every classroom activity, every, well, everything school-related for more than half a decade. Side-by-side we’ve watched our chubby-faced three-year-olds evolve into lean-limbed feisty, eloquent nine-year olds.

Look how far we’ve come, I thought as I gazed at the buzz of life before me. Look what we’ve createdLook how much happiness can be found right here. 

Sometimes words aren’t necessary.

Sometimes just being is enough.

9 thoughts on “moving on

  1. Susan Mann

    Sounds like he’s had a great experience. We don’t have this step up here. We got from Primary ending at P7 which is around 11-12 then High school. My oldest is 9 too and I can imagine I’d feel very emotional xx

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    1. Maddy Post author

      I went to school in a two-tier system too so I find the three-tier one a bit odd. I think it makes them grow up a bit faster! He’s had a great time at school by and large and is so excited about middle school so it’s all good really! Thanks for commenting, Susan. xx
      Maddy recently posted…moving onMy Profile

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  2. Marija Smits

    Aww, I can really relate to this. Even though my daughter has 2 years to go until she hits secondary school (she’s 9 as well but we only have two stages of schools) I can’t believe she’s only got another 2 years of primary school and it’s definitey bittersweet. And the fact that my son is finishing reception this year feels crazy too. Definitely bittersweet. Sending love. xx

    Reply
  3. Sam

    Aw. This is so nicely written Maddy! I still have a fair few years to go before I am at that stage but I think we all look at our children at the end of a school year and feel absolute wonder for how much they have changed in such a short space of time. It sounds like your son has really thrived at school which is wonderful! Thanks so much for linking up to #thetruthabout (despite your ban on linkies :-) ) and wishing you a fun summer hols! X
    Sam recently posted…The Truth about… #84My Profile

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    1. Maddy Post author

      Thanks, Sam, yes the difference between the start of a school year and the end is vast! Hope you have a good summer too. xx
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  4. Agent Spitback

    I had the same bittersweet moment at both my children’s Graduation ceremonies. Sitting amongst my Mom friends whom I had known for so many years and we all smiled and looked at each other as we knew we would miss those years. It would never be the same anymore but we will always have beautiful memories. I loved this post. It just made me remember a time I can never return to but will always be tucked away safe in my heart.
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  5. Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love)

    Such a beautiful post and how bittersweet it must be to be moving on to the next stage. I love how you were content to just observe and soak in the moment. We’re just about to start on our school journey as Jessica finished preschool last week and will be starting big school in September. Hope your son enjoys middle school when he starts :-)
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