A cruel summer

For every joyous family moment there’s a pang of pain.

This summer sees two big moments in our family. A house move from the home where my son was born, and the preparations for my daughter starting big school.
 
As with most house moves there have been several trips to the local recycling centre. Families with younger children have had the pleasure of several toy donations, and friends with babies have received gifts of high chairs and baby strollers. Gorgeous and touching keepsakes have been unearthed: first shoes, hospital wrist bands, a lock from the first haircut, a copy of the Times from each child’s birthday. It goes on. Which ‘first’ drawing to keep? I guess I’ll keep them all.

 



Letters received from the big school have no mention of children, instead young people. The idea of my daughter being a young person, not a child, is a daunting one. Embarrassing mums wipe away tears at the school outfitters as they watch their children transform into a smart navy attired young person.
 
The joy and pride of watching them growing up far outweighs the pain I feel at watching them move on. A poem by the wonderful Paulo Coelho says it all.
 
“Parents rarely let go of their children, so children let go of them.
They move on. They move away.
The moments that used to define them are covered by 
moments of their own accomplishments.
 
It is not until much later, that 
children understand;
their stories and all their accomplishments, sit atop the stories
of their mothers and fathers, stones upon stones,
beneath the water of their lives.”