Last Wednesday the boys went back to school. (This blog has been a long time in the writing the first sentence originally started “Yesterday…”)
The beginning of another school year, a fresh term and new start for them both of them.
For oldest son the start of his GCSEs and to his delight that means no more drama or food technology lessons ever again! He once asked his drama teacher what was the point of the lesson and he set fire to his recipe in cooking. Yes those lessons are best forgotten and I’m sure the teachers concerned have breathed a heavy sigh of relief that his name doesn’t appear on their register!
Now he gets to do the subjects of his choosing and so far I am impressed, I’ve seen him learning his French vocab, admittedly while watching Sky Sports News but I think he’s taking a mature approach to studies from our brief teenage son to mother conversations.
Youngest son is also growing up fast and is now also at big and scary secondary school. My baby (he hates it when I call him that) looks far too small to be in a sweatshirt matching his brother’s.
He tried on his uniform Tuesday night, just to see if it fitted and I had tears in my eyes.
“Why are you crying?” He dislikes me crying too.
“I was just thinking that your dad never got to see you dressed up for big school.”
“But he can still see me.” Always so self-assured and confident that his dad is watching down on us all.
I dropped them off on the first day and watched them going beyond the school gates together.
“Have a nice day, work hard, be nice to the teachers.” The car doors’ slammed on my parting comment.
I doubt they actually heard me, after all I am only their mother and they were with their friends, but hopefully they listen to their teachers and are learning something.
I’ve only just realised there will be no more kisses when I say goodbye to the youngest, too embarrassing in front of his peers. At present he still holds my hand while we walk down the street together but how long before that ceases too? Our hands slip together so naturally and the closeness is special, even more so now I no longer have Andrew’s physical presence.
I am really proud of both my sons. The way the just carry on with things, moving forward to the next stage of their little lives, with no apparent worries or cares apart from the ones I seem to impose with my constant questioning.
“Are you sure you’re OK?” I ask when they appear subdued. How do you distinguish between teenage angst and grief?
I am getting better and trying not to ask so often. It’s hard to relinquish the role of overprotective embarrassing parent.
In truth I was a little envious watching them saunter into school. They seem so carefree.
When they got home on the first evening I sat and copied out their timetables to put up on the fridge. There was a certain satisfaction in measuring out a grid to fit their lessons in and writing neatly. How I wish I could have my day mapped out, French, Geography and Maths, then some lunch followed by an afternoon of English and how about some Drama?
“They” say school days are the best of your life and I believe them – whoever “they” may be!
Andrew hated his school life and always thought I was mad for enjoying mine but lessons came easily to me and I thrived on the praise I received from the teachers. School was somewhere I excelled and felt confident. Maybe as the years have passed those school days have taken on even more of a rosy glow? I’m sure there are some things best forgotten, I just can’t remember them.
At school I always knew I would continue my education through to A levels and a degree. It never occurred to me to stop learning. My life was mapped out and secure.
That’s where the problem lies now; my life is completely up in the air. As the boys walk off into their structured day I am left with a void to fill and too much stuff to squeeze into the hours between 9 and 3! In the holiday I let everything go and now I am aware of all that needs doing. I am not disciplined enough to set and stick to a self imposed time table.
I desperately want to sort things out in the house. Although I have practically resigned myself to the fact we will probably be here for a least the next 6 months and through the winter months there is always the outside chance that someone could buy it before Christmas!
Sorting one room a week was my plan starting last week with getting on top of the filing.
Have I done the filing yet? – No, because once the boys were back at school I was overwhelmed AGAIN. For 6 weeks I’d been longing for space and when I got it I fell apart. I spent all of Thursday in tears on and off. Not just a few I could sniff away but great big sobs that came from deep within.
It is like a game of snakes and ladders you think you are moving along nicely, up a couple of ladders on the way, buying a new car, driving to London, until you land on a snake that seems to take you just about back to the beginning.
Everything is still so draining and even writing this blog has taken a while. Now I am typing away again things are making a bit more sense and the fog has lifted a bit, but for some of last week I felt completely lost.
The whole timetable of my life has been torn up and I am faced with an almost blank sheet of paper to start again. I have options open to me now that never existed before and my brain goes into overdrive planning what “might” happen.
I have always been the sort of person that NEEDS to know what’s happening. What's next on the agenda?
Is it because it makes me feel safe?
Or do I just like being in control too much?
The possibilities now for me are scarier than for my youngest going to big school. At least he has a plan of where he has to be and when. So far he’s come home smiling and happy at his new adventure.
I feel like mine is just beginning too and I need to embrace it but at the same time take one day at a time, I can’t look too far ahead or I’ll trip over.
There’s more to write on that subject but that’s for another day. There is another half a blog written and locked away in the laptop but this is today’s task and now I need to move on to the filing. Little steps and let the bigger plans fall into place along the way because in the end it doesn’t matter which direction my mind races off to it says in the Bible that
God…” is able to do IMMEASURABLY more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work in us.”
I love those words “IMMEASURABLY MORE”. Whatever I could plan God has something so much better in store. I need to learn to trust and let go, then there will be new beginnings all around.