Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.

...Robert Frost...

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Just My baby

Today I supervised a year 12 English class. Their teacher had left them work to do , but they had moments of conversation that captured my interest. They were sharing their plans for the future. I almost felt as though I was eavesdropping as I listened in. Only a few months and they have finished school and they are making decisions about their future. One minute they are sitting there in school uniforms feeling forced to do work they aren't particularly enjoying, and the next they will be expected to make choices that will steer the direction of the rest of their lives.

Then I felt it. It started in my stomach and then surged upwards to my chest. A kind of cross between panic and disbelief. These 'men' were somebodies babies, someone's little schoolboy. I looked into their faces and could almost see what their mums saw on their first day of school, sweet, innocent babes. And I thought, this will be me in only a year. And we know how fast a year goes. It will be me listening to Mr B talk about his future plans. His future plans without us. And I just can't imagine our family without him around.

I'm not ready and don't even know how to make myself ready. I'm the mum who cried as I enrolled Mr B into pre-school. I'm the mum who couldn't bring herself to ever put her children into childcare, feeling it would deprive her of a day with her babies. I'm the mum who has spent half her life time in the classroom with her children so she could choose their friends knows exactly what's going on on their lives.(ok, so I may or may not be a little neurotic!) So, how am I going to become the mum who stays so actively involved steps back and lets them have their own life?

We live in a smaller country town. He has to leave in order to pursue a higher education or get a reasonable job. Will he want to come back? Sure, we're here, but is that enough? Have I smothered him too much, to the point he can't wait to leave? Have we moved so many times that he doesn't feel as though he has a base? He will have lived here for three years, is that long enough to have made those deeper connections and feel like this was home? Or was it just another place in a string of many.

How do you do it? How do you prepare? He's just my baby.

Oh, ok, so thousands of mums have gone down this road before me and survived. And I may have PMT which may or may not have tempered my emotions a bit. And it's probably nothing a good glass of red couldn't cure, but still....

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