When you least expect it

7 Sep

I wasn’t going to write this post.  I felt like I’d already written it.   I’ve spent the last few months mourning the ending of the most wonderful and challenging period of my life to date.   I thought I’d come to terms with my babies growing up.  I have so much to look forward to.  I’ve started working again and I’m hoping to get a dog (still negotiating this with my esteemed husband, but I’ll wear him down).  And of course, there’s the small matter of our trip.

So I wasn’t going to write this post.  Because I didn’t think I’d have much to say.  My baby’s only going to be at school for a few weeks before we’re off.  He’s a robust, cheerful sort who’ll talk to anyone.  He’d be fine.  I’d be fine.  Starting school would be just another thing to tick off before our trip.

So I was completely blindsided this morning when I watched him walk cheerfully up the steps into school, all by himself, and felt myself falling apart.  I briskly said goodbye to my friend, rushed home and the floodgates opened.  I spent most of the morning in tears, unable to settle to anything.  My much longed for three hours of freedom, passed as slowly as a season.  I did a few tasks, crossed a few things off, but nothing made me feel better.  Everything started me off again.

I wasn’t worried about Dickon.  I knew he’d be fine.  He’s been longing to join his big brother and sister, desperate to be a big boy.  I was crying for me.  Am crying for me.  This is it.  I won’t have another baby.  I’ll never rock another child to sleep, spend hours feeding infront of daytime TV, or enjoy quiet mornings reading with a toddler on my lap.  My children are growing up, I have to move on.  And I know I’ve got a lot to look forward to.  A lot to be thankful for.  But today I’m sad.


This week’s prompt for The Gallery is The First Day of School.  I wasn’t going to join in.


41 Responses to “When you least expect it”

  1. Gigi (MumsRock) 07/09/2010 at 9:09 pm #

    Vic I love this post. It sums up that tangled web of feelings we go through at the school gates. Willing them to be brave and big and confident and inside secretly rejoicing if they have a tiny wobble and rush into our arms. Because we’re still needed.
    K went back to pre-school today to start full time and was so fine dropping off I had to distract myself with a 3 hour shopping trip to forget (look it helps me okay!). Only to return to a happy child who then burst into inconsolable tears when I disappeared for two seconds to talk to the school secretary. He still needs me! Just for a little bit anyway. x

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 08/09/2010 at 3:07 pm #

      They’ll always need us won’t they? Won’t they? *fights back tears yet again*

  2. Tara 07/09/2010 at 9:10 pm #

    I love this post because it echoes what so many of us have been feeling this week. The loss of our babies. Our baaaabies! Once they start school that chapter is totally over.
    But that said, an exciting chapter. Especially given your impending trip x

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 08/09/2010 at 3:08 pm #

      You’re right, it’s the turning of the page thing. Hard to say goodbye.

  3. Harriet 07/09/2010 at 9:12 pm #

    I’m still two years away from my first experience of this and three from seeing my babies go, but I know it’ll be hard, I just know it. Lovely photo and thank you for taking part.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 08/09/2010 at 3:08 pm #

      I love taking part in the Gallery!

  4. keatsbabe 07/09/2010 at 9:22 pm #

    This is a lovely photo and a heartfelt post. I am going to blog on my daughters first day at 6th form college as I am feeling left out…

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 08/09/2010 at 3:09 pm #

      Do! No one said it had to be primary school!

  5. christinemosler 07/09/2010 at 9:26 pm #

    You know that I am feeling this too *offers hand*; incredibly painful and wonderful all at the same time. When DD went I thought that was it and I grieved then BB came along and surprised us all and I got to have another go. This time I am too old and we have too many and I am already thinking about Grandchildren! Fabulous post, says it all. xxx

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 08/09/2010 at 3:01 pm #

      I’m so glad I’ve had people to share it with. Thank you xxx

  6. wendy powell 07/09/2010 at 9:36 pm #

    This was me too! My eldest started school last friday, & her brother is only one year behind her… ‘This is it. I won’t have another baby’ is EXACTLY what I’m feeling. So final. Bless ’em.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 08/09/2010 at 3:00 pm #

      It’s the finality that’s hard, isn’t it?

  7. Laura 07/09/2010 at 9:56 pm #

    Just want you to know. I’m totally with you on this one!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 08/09/2010 at 11:24 am #

      Shall we hold hands?

  8. Paula 07/09/2010 at 10:27 pm #

    I hope it helped a little to write it down, I know it did me (ish). The problems with these milestones is that they’re all so bloody final, you can’t trackback and do Take 2 with a tighter cuddle, or a more attentive smile – they’re there and then they’re gone and the emotions hit when you least expect. If I were closer I’d have spent the morning holding your hand xxx

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 08/09/2010 at 11:25 am #

      It did help I think. And I know you would have. Thank you xxx

  9. Sharon 08/09/2010 at 8:07 am #

    This is lovely, in a sad way, it brought it all back to me, though it was a long time ago since my youngest started school. In fact this year, after 28 years, was the first I didn’t have to think about school/colleg/university starting. I also didn’t think I’d have any more children after my 2nd, but 10 years later had a 3rd and then 4th – so anything is posible!
    But there will be lots of other moments like these too, when they start ‘big’ school, when they go away to university or on hoiiday by themselves and when they eventally leave home for the last time, which is where I am now, and at my age I know I definitely can’t have any more. Still I have 3 grandsons, so you do get to rock a baby to sleep again, with tha added benefit that if they won’t go to sleep you can give them to their parents and don’t have to sit there till you’re cross-eyed with tiredness!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 08/09/2010 at 10:10 am #

      You have a very good point! Although as my eldest is only eight, I hope I’ll have a little while to wait for grandchildren!

  10. jfb57 08/09/2010 at 8:48 am #

    It’s a lovely picture of a new adventure!!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 08/09/2010 at 3:11 pm #

      Thank you 🙂

  11. Mirka Moore 08/09/2010 at 9:55 am #

    It’s sad they grow up so quickly, isn’t it? My Isabelle will be starting pre-school next week, I still remember when she started walking…

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 08/09/2010 at 3:11 pm #

      It really does go quickly. Make the most of it.

  12. TheMadHouse 08/09/2010 at 10:16 am #

    Oh my dear friend, I feel this pain far too accutly too

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 08/09/2010 at 3:02 pm #

      As I said to Chris, it’s been really hard, but it’s been good to have people to share it with. We’re not alone x

  13. Nic's Notebook 08/09/2010 at 11:22 am #

    Lots of hugs for you, I’m sure it is hard.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 08/09/2010 at 3:12 pm #


  14. dawniebrown 08/09/2010 at 12:13 pm #

    It’s a long way off for me but I’m already dreading that moment. Lovely photo xxx

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 08/09/2010 at 3:12 pm #

      It’ll go SO quickly, it really will.

  15. Deer Baby 08/09/2010 at 3:38 pm #

    And I’m off crying again. I think I’m going to sue Tara Cain for mascara ruinage each week.

    This is lovely. It is that letting go. That’s what you’ve captured. The fact they’re your last and another stage is over. And school is the biggie of all the milestones I think.

    I’ve got a 2 year old at home. So one more to go.

    You can’t get a dog before your trip!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 08/09/2010 at 4:17 pm #

      The dog’ll be after the trip, obviously! To keep me company when we get home and they’re all at school all day…

  16. b4kersgirl 08/09/2010 at 3:58 pm #

    A lovely post. My daughter is only 14 months but I already think its all happening too fast, I’ll be a mess when she starts nursery

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 11/09/2010 at 7:55 pm #

      It’s very hard when they start nursery

  17. Marina K. Villatoro 08/09/2010 at 5:35 pm #

    I know exactly how you feel. Watching you kids grow is wonderful but it happens soooo fast that sometimes you wish you could stop time. But hey a new phase of your life is starting and it’s just as wonderful.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 11/09/2010 at 7:56 pm #

      The next year will be very exciting

  18. Rosie Scribble 08/09/2010 at 8:44 pm #

    Oh bless you. I sobbed when my daughter started school. It didn’t pass after a day, or even a week, but it did pass. She’s seven now and in year 3 but she’s still my baby. x

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 11/09/2010 at 7:57 pm #

      I’m starting to realise that this won’t be a quick thing, it’s been such an important part of my life for so long.

  19. Him Up North 08/09/2010 at 9:59 pm #

    I have read a lot of writing on this subject in the past few days, but I can honestly say yours actually made me gulp. And I’m a 40 year old bloke, if a wussy one.

    The thing about milestones is they’re not destinations, just markers, something you’ll have loads of.

    Great post. One of the best.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 11/09/2010 at 7:57 pm #

      This comment made me smile from ear to ear. Thank you.

  20. If I Could Escape . . . 09/09/2010 at 10:47 pm #

    Awwww, I’m sure that’s exactly how I’m going to feel. x

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 11/09/2010 at 7:58 pm #

      It’s not easy

  21. angelsandurchinsblog 14/09/2010 at 7:59 pm #

    That is such a gorgeous photograph to remember it by. I hate saying goodbye to a stage too, but keep being reassured by people with older children that the best is yet to come… Hope so.

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