It all started yesterday after our middle childs end of year nursery assembly. The words were mumbled, children on and off stage cried, our boy took a spontaneous sit down break half way through a very animated song about a giant; it was bloody wonderful and I was welling up before they left the stage. Because that’s it now, he leaves nursery today and is off to big school in September. Seeing all their little faces on the stage yesterday, their baggy uniforms and cheeky grins sharply brings into focus the reality that this is it – this moment and all his nursery moments before will never happen again. They are not little for long enough.
Our big boy has had his own worries, moving class and having a new teacher. It’s not a surprise, it happens every year. But his teacher this year has been super special to him and many of his class mates and she is leaving the school. She that teacher your kids will remember for years for all the right reasons because she just got him. He’s warned me he might be coming out of school with ‘red eyes and wet cheeks.’ He tells me he has had the ‘best year yet’ and he doesn’t want it to end.
Then there is our baby who is fast approaching 17 months. Off to a child minder in September as I drag myself back to work (something that is so convenient and local and perfect for me and kids I could not say no). No more lazy afternoons reading books, singing songs and generally making a mess. All that time has already escaped us.
Don’t get me wrong, I know with endings often there is a heavy dose of nostalgia in the mix making it all a bit tinted with wonder. I can’t deny there are days where I can’t wait for the kids to go to bed, or sometimes just bring bedtime forward and get them to sleep because the day has been too long. There are definitely moments where I fantasize about my kids being older and more independent and my life being just a bit easier for it. No 5am wake up calls, no packed lunches, no running about to every club, no endless piles of washing and ironing (seriously I don’t even know where this stuff comes from), no babysitters required to go anywhere with my husband…. there are clear benefits to the kids growing up, although this list does seem to focus on the benefits for me!!
But today I want to stop the clock. I want to keep them young. I want them to find silly things funny and giggle with friends, I want them to keep believing in Santa and magic and dragons, I want them to have the world to discover and explore and to know that most things can be put right in the world with a cuddle from mum and dad. I want them to enjoy their friends, school, feel proud of achievements (like standing up for at least half the nursery assembly even though they were nervous), and be able to say this is the ‘best year yet’ because they are enjoying the simple pleasures of fun and family and friends that being a child should allow….
There is a phrase I often hear – parenting is long days and short years. This feels so true and on days like today a little bit scary. It’s probably just me and I’m sure they will cope with all the change much better than I do but for today I want to keep them in this moment in time just a little bit longer.
Stop the Clock.
Please send tissues.