29 May 2009
Slipping through my fingers
Last Friday was also another very special day for another reason. It was Kay's last official day of schooling. I say "schooling" rather than "school", because she still has to go to school to sit her exams over the next few weeks, but last Friday was the last day of actual lessons. Ever, ever. It seems like only yesterday morning that I held her tiny three-year-old hand and took her to her first kindergarten class. It seems like only yesterday lunchtime when again I took her hand and introduced her to her first primary school teacher when she was four. It seems like only yesterday afternoon when she boarded the bus heading for the big girls' school aged eleven. Suddenly she is almost eighteen, an adult and able to vote in a couple of months. Heck, how did that happen?
Fifteen years have passed since that first day at kindergarten, in which she has learned the wonders of this world and the basics of reading and writing. I have sat listening to her read her very first books, watching her first shaky attempts at art, helping with those multiplication tables right through to now when at her request I try to test her and have to decipher the totally foreign language (to me) that is Chemistry. I have packed lunches when she used to be a faddy 6-year-old and hated the school fare; packed suitcases for school trips to far-off places such as Cumbria, Paris and Latin America; and packed a proverbial punch in mad-mother-cow mode, if I thought another child in the playground was being unfair or bullying her. I have watched her turn from a small wobbly toddler into a beautiful young woman who without my guiding hand wobbles still on high heels and towers above me.
Where have all those years gone? I must have got here in the Tardis! Her last day of school came stealthily in through the back door. It just cannot be possible. Don't get me wrong, I have prepared for years for this day in my mind over and over, determined not to get all weepy and sentimental, but it still comes like a bolt out of the blue and surprises me just how quickly eighteen years can pass. The time rushes by in a flash. You are happily ticking off all those milestones of losing teeth, growing new ones, different schools, exams, vaccinations and achievements and before you have time to blink, the chicks are leaving the nest. Make the most of your little cherubs while you can.