I wasn’t really ready for it if I am honest. Speech day had been in my diary for a few months, I had booked the day off work and I had made sure the RSVP slip for the after presentation BBQ had been returned. But as the day approached it hit me. This was it. The last of my three children was leaving school.
This is it. Job done.
There will be no more speech days. No more assemblies, drama productions or sports days (to be fair there hadn’t been many of those in the past few years but the idea that would never be any more is still a painful one). No more Parentmail emails advising me that nits were doing the rounds, or that there is a pile of lost property in reception that needs to be rifled through. No more parent evenings (and truth be told I skipped the last couple of those with a waft of “if there was a problem they would call me, I don’t need to go round a group of teachers in five minute intervals for an evening”. Its like the worst speed dating session ever). Now that they are all done though I want another one. I want the piece of paper with the blank spaces to be filled in with who I am seeing when.
I remember Caity leaving her secondary, and then her sixth form college. I remember Jonnie leaving sixth form college that was part of his secondary schoool. And now this week I have witnessed Ellie do the same, leave her sixth form college attached to her school. I actually videoed us driving out of the school entrance as we left on Wednesday. Because I am that big an idiot.
A big fat tear rolled down my cheek as I thought about never parking outside the sixth form block again and waiting for Ellie to appear with piles of stuff at the end of the day. Waves and “Hi T” from her friends as I waited have all now stopped.
It’s all a bit too much. It feels like another colossal milestone. Much like the one I had last year when Ellie passed her driving test and within an hour her insurance was sorted out and she had taken over her own school trips to and from school. In one fell swoop I was redundant. My daily school runs were over. When Caity started getting the bus to college I still had to take Jonnie. At one point I was doing a school run seven days a week as I ferried Ellie Monday to Friday, picked up Jonnie on Saturday and took him back on Sunday night. Then when Jonnie passed his test I still had to take Ellie. Until that day of redundancy last year.
Once our children get to 18 I think the perception is they become adults, and we are no longer needed but it couldn’t feel further from the truth right now. Despite Caity having moved out and now planning her wedding, and all three of them now having jobs, I am mourning the loss of all those years where I feel I wasn’t as hands on as I should have been. Where I may have thrown away a picture I should have put on the fridge and kept forever. For the sports day I bowed out of because, well because most of us want to miss sports day, don’t we? I want to wrap all that time up and put it in a jar where I can get hold of it and know it’s there forever and not slipping away from me.
These are my babies I am not ready to no longer be a “school mum”.
School’s out forever and whilst the kids might all be excited, this mum really isn’t.