Parenting

Some Ramblings to the Dude

Dear darling child who is rushing so fast into the future,

I am writing this letter to you as you say goodbye to your preschool world. A world that once seemed so unfamiliar and daunting but has now become a second home. All those routines and faces will be lost to you soon, but will stay with me forever.

This was the place where my little baby boy became a child. A child with fierce interests and friendships independent of me. You still love coming home to me for cuddles but this time has marked the start of me not being the centre of your world, as it should be.

We were lucky to find such an inspiring setting for your preschool year and I am sure the school you are moving onto will be equally as amazing, providing you with memories that will be just yours. Friendships that are just yours. Dreams that our just yours. Because it is days like this when I cannot hide from the simple fact that you do not belong to me. For a long time it was just you and me and although our family has grown, in some ways it is still you and me. But you are your own person and one day you will fly the nest and start your own journey, although I do drink in those moments when you adamantly tell me you will live at home with me forever. You believe your promises but I remember saying those same words to my Mum and I know of all the intoxicating things that await you. This is the start of your story, a story where I will not always be a main character. Also, as it should be.

Being a Mum is a funny old business. Rightly, you become our world and for a short time, we are your world too, but now you are starting to go out there by yourself and forge your own path. I am excited to see where this path takes you, even if I am also touched with a longing for a past time, when your whole world was me. Will you develop the interests you have now or find new ones you have yet to even consider? I predict you will find most pleasure in Maths and Science, you seem to like definite answers and logical thinking, but in the four years I have know you, the biggest thing you have taught me is to never think I have you worked out.

But you have taught me so much more than that. Being your Mummy has taught me that everyone is a parenting expert but if you act out of love and compassion you can’t go too wrong. And I try, every day I try. Some days I am a master at it and some days I am very much a novice, but just like you are at the start of your journey that will have many highs and some lows, I too am still learning. Because another thing being your Mum has taught me is that every day is a new start.

Yesterday I may have shouted at the spilt milk, rushed you on the walk home, rolled my eyes and sighed when you asked yet another question but all that is forgiven today, I know you have forgiven me and I know I must forgive myself too. Because another thing I am learning from you is to enjoy life.
Yes, I still worry about all the what ifs, whether or not I am doing this right and what kind of world you are growing up in but you have made me see a world beyond the words in my head and if I spend too long in there I miss out on you. I miss the little things that could so easily go unnoticed, like how happy you are when you zip up your coat all by yourself, how you always try to sniff the sweet shop windows without me noticing, how you rush to help your little sister, even if your help is misguided and ends in tears.

The most surprising thing I have learnt is that I am definitely one of those crying mums! As someone who generally isn’t big on public displays of emotions, this surprises me the most. Whether it is seeing your face beaming out as a shepherd who diligently learnt all the words without any help from me or the drawings that moved on from just lines to show our family doing all the things that you love or when I arrive early to collect you and I see you lost in another magical world with friends I don’t even know the name of. Whatever it is, I feel the lump in my throat, the tears in my eyes and the pride in my heart. I apologise now for the embarrassment this will no doubt cause you but I am not sorry by being overwhelmed with love for you.

A lot is about to change for us but the one thing that never will is how much I love you and how much happiness you bring me. So, little man, you might be the one about to start your official education but I can assure you, you are not the only one learning and I can also assure you that I will be there, cheering you on all the way – with tissues permanently on hand of course!

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