30 January 2007

fleeting

The firstborn started secondary school today. How the hell did that happen?

fleeting

I remember when he started primary school it threw me totally (it’s all about me, you do know that, don’t you?). All of a sudden I was a mother of a school-aged child, not just a mother of babies who spent her days pushing the pram to the local shops, the kinder, the maternal-child health centre and to Mothers’ Group (the latter being my lifeline in those days). I became one of those Mothers At The School Gate. A real grown up. For some reason it hit me harder than just being a mother. A Mother At The School Gate was not how I envisaged myself.

I wanted to hang on to the nappies snapping in the wind on the clothesline, the smell of a baby’s head as I breastfed late at night, the tiny singlets and cardigans, the innocent trusting eyes.

For the past few years now I’ve had all three of my boys at primary school and so it gradually became the norm. But now I’m a parent of a high school kid. And in a couple of weeks, the Mother of a Teenager.

He is growing up so fast. And as much as I get nostalgic for the baby daze, and struggle with the realities of the burgeoning independence he shows, I am so very very proud of him. He is becoming a fine young man who is sensitive towards others, curious about the world around him, creative, enthusiastic about learning, and full to bursting with ideas and promise.

My Number One Son.

growing up

28 comments:

nutmeg said...

Great pics Ms Soup. I was wondering what the first was about (not that it has to be "about" anything!) but after seeing the second I went back and saw the flash of colour on the stair. They do grow up TOO fast.

My first went off to primary school today. I'm where you were at, not that long ago in years...but a lifetime of experiences ago. I read a great article by a woman who had recently become "the mother standing at the school gate..." I'll have to dig it out for a re-read. Thanks for reminding me that it all goes along too fast; it's to be enjoyed, now :-)

ThirdCat said...

Those photos are absolutely gorgeous. I was trying to work out today whether my own mother was thinking all these things when I started school. If she was, I certainly didn't notice.

Violet & Rose said...

My big girl is no longer a prep girl. She is an even bigger grade one girl. And my baby starts three year old kinder. And after today I could just wave them out the door, they were climbing the walls and taking me with them. But if I did just wave them out the door, I would come back inside and sob incessantly. Come back my baby's, come back ...

Ash said...

I have two in primary school and one shifted up a class unexpectedly so I now find myself with one in Grade 1 and one halfway through Grade 4. It scares the living bejesus out of me how quickly it's going! I feel like saying 'hang on, wait for me!'

shula said...

SNAP!

(see my latest post).

Lazy cow said...

I'm in the same position as Violet and Rose. This mother-at-the-schoolgate thing still feels foreign after a year of it. Surely I'm not MATURE enough to have a child at school? I dread the first day of high school already and there's 6 more years to go. Glad you're accepting it with some sort of equanimity. He sounds like a wonderful young man :-)

Em said...

I'm glad I still have a baby to cuddle because it is all going too fast for me!

I'm glad you feel proud. I hope I'll feel that way too.

telfair said...

Oh, this made me feel a bit weepy...beautiful photographs, too.

blackbird said...

ooof -
I feel it in my heart...

herhimnbryn said...

These are such poignant ( forgive me if the spelling is incorrect) images and such joyous images too.
proud Mama.

Elizabeth said...

I've been there. And will again. Sniff.
Years ago we saw a Twilight Zone sort of show where a young woman was selling Forever Ware. Everyone thought it was like Tupperware but it came in large bed sizes and if you slept in one sealed tight you would never age. Hubby and I we have often lamented we have no ForeverWear to keep the kids small forever. Sigh.
P.s. that looks like a really cool building.

Pixie said...

I think they were some of my happiest days, as a mother at the school gate. Mother at the cricket bright and early is fun too though. I'll be right where you are in another week. Meanwhile it's great fun sorting out what the non-uniform wearing college boy is going to wear to school. Almost teenage boys are fun!

Emma said...

My baby started kindy yesterday, so you have a lot of empathy from me. I feel like pulling him out today, taking him home and babying him like crazy. He wouldn't forgive me, though. He's so happy at kindy.

I enjoyed your photos, they told the story beautifully.

BabelBabe said...

fab photos. and i liked your "baby daze" pun : )

Surfing Free said...

Wow! It seems like I just left high school, and I'm sure it does to you as well!

My first starts primary school tomorrow and I can't believe she is so big. I also can't believe she is ready to be so independent, but I have to trust that she is.

Can't picture myself at the school gates either. Just as well we are adaptable creatures.

tut-tut said...

You've captured it all, perfectly. That first photo is just wonderful.

Stomper Girl said...

Oh Suse, beautiful post! My heart was aching when I read it, because I'm part way on your journey and I see it never gets easier. And while it's amazing and wonderful watching them become such terrific little people, it's also a bit scarey and a lot gut-wrenching... *sniffle*.

Like I said on Shula's, I now understand why women have that 'late baby' after their first lot are all at school.

Congratulations on your lovely firstborn and I hope he has a terrific year at High School.

JANNIKINZ said...

It'll get easier as time goes by.
I remember being a mother at the school gates myself...oooh, how long ago!. Your babies will come back to you in the form of Grandchildren.

meggie said...

Lovely post, great pics.

sueeeus said...

He is so grown up!
I love the photos.

victoria said...

I feel your pain: my oldest will be going to college next fall. All of a sudden I won't be mom with young kids--I'll be mom with older kids...Sometimes its kinda hard to wrap your head around that when you can remember pushing them in a stroller like it was yesterday....

Joke said...

Is it weird that I was thinking, not of MY kids going off to high school, but of when *I* went for the first time?

-J.

kt said...

Oh Mom.

I can't believe I've got a 9-year-old. When I woke her up for school yesterday, she had the same sleepy-sweet face I recall from her babyhood. She even moved her mouth in that special way that we call the "ooo" face.

*sigh*

Are't they just plain amazing?

shellyC said...

Great post! I think many of us are recognising different stages that we are at as mothers. The other day as I sat in a Cafe and watched many prams go by I thought to myself "I am no longer a mother who needs a pram - that stage is totally behind me."

Now I am at the school gate!

Suse said...

oh god, scary spam message!

Schmutzie said...

I never feel maternal, but this made me feel it. If I have babies, I'm blaming you.

--erica said...

scary. I think you can delete than big spam thing.


About the boy.. amazing watching them grow. My oldest just turned 13. He is just so fun to watch..

Gina E. said...

Looks a bit like Montsalvat to me.