Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Letting go.

Today my heart feels a little heavy, my step a little weary, my head a bit bleurgh.

All because I sent my 8 3/4 year old off to an evacuee centre, with his little number round his neck and a black cap on his head. He'll be staying there for 2 nights, learning all about what evacuated kids went through during world war 2. He was beyond excited: patiently listening as I packed and re-packed his case, with a tick list ready for him to adhere to when he packs to return; studying his costume in the mirror and fixing his cap at a jaunty angle. Me - not so much. I mean of course I'm delighted that he's heading off on a school trip with all his buddies, and how much he'll learn and grow from the experience - it is just - he has never left me before. EVER. I keep walking past his room and it all feels so quiet. Sproglette is in mourning - but has managed to quell her tears with haribo. What a trooper.

All of a sudden - on the cusp of 9 - he is growing away from me: he now walks to school with his friends, he changes on his own at swimming and no longer shares baths with his sister - preferring to shower alone. It's as it should be - and yet, I feel so redundant at times. Like, I've waited for this moment (to not have to suffer stinky swimming pool changing rooms for example) and yet now that it is here - I am a bit bereft. Bizarre isn't it? Tis so true that they grow up so friction' quickly. I can understand completely why folk squeeze in baby no 3 (NOT that I have any plans in that direction).

We trundled into the school hall and found out which group he was in. We wandered over to... a group of about 10 girls. His face fell. All around the room his buddies stood in other groups. Luckily he had one chum in his group - which seemed ok, until this kid was sent to another one! Sproglet's face fell and I asked the teacher if he had any more boys in my son's group. He read the list and Sproglet looked so gutted - none were his friends. Now he has many buddies - yesterday he wrote a list of 14 he plans to invite to his party - but not one was on the list. His face told the story. I asked if he disappointed and he replied quietly, 'very.' He stood silently and stared ahead. I sighed, my own stomach in knots - not wishing to leave him with his little face so downbeat.  It reminded me of the years at school in sort when I was picked last for the team, or left out of a girlie secret - it is just DEVASTATING. Suddenly the teacher said, "Sproglet why don't you join Mrs XYZ's group over there," and pointed towards a group of boys in the corner. Sproglet BEAMED and ran towards 6 of his friends. I thanked the teacher (I could have hugged him right there and then like a complete weirdo) - I was just so so glad that he had clocked the situation. The next minute Sproglet was in group photos and laughing away, so kissing him goodbye was easy.

For him.

I dashed away from the school, tears in my eyes and a massive lump in my throat. I miss hearing his voice, hearing Sproglette's laughter as he messes about sending her into fits of giggles. He'll be back on Friday, exhausted, with a (no doubt) half packed case filled with dirty clothes. He'll have stories galore and will ask once again to watch Dad's army. But that night, when I get my hug, I'll be squeezing more tightly than usual. While I still can...


Anonymous said...

I knew you'd be back... :-)
I was exactly the same with my Sproglette when she went away for the year 4 trip. I've gone one step beyond though, now she's in year 6 I've volunteered to be one of the parent helpers just so I can join in with the fun. Luckily she's all for me being with her, although I think it will be the last time I'll be allowed. They grow up so fast.
Love NB

Anonymous said...

My mum was evacuated during the war. Their house had been hit and my granny, who absolutely adored her and her baby sister was working 20 hours a day on their coal business - it was deemed essential and enlisted in the war effort - and she had to pack them up and put them on a train and just... leave them. With no idea of where they were going or when she might see them again. Apparently she was very smiley and happy and made a big adventure out of it, but my mum, who was very young, said she looked out of the carriage window when the train was pulling out and her mother was crying so hard she had to be escorted out by a station official. Their evacuation was a happy one, they had a lovely family and were spoiled and went to a great school and weren't abused or mistreated, but for their mum, in that moment, it must have been sickening.