The first day of the Autumn term has arrived. I have been dressing and dropping off small children daily for the last 22 years, but seeing the neatly hair-styled back of my youngest’s head bobbing away from me still caught me at the back of the throat. Tears were spilling as I queued to cut across the main road out of the school yard.
School is society’s investment in our future generation’s willingness to co-operate and participate. As a parent I am only too aware of my children’s individuality and the great joy of simply having my kids around me; challenging me and sometimes overwhelming me with their presence and unlimited demands. But I have done my duty and sent them off.
Now the house is still and quiet; as if taking stock and breathing out. We have experienced seven uninterrupted weeks of bouncing around and off each other and now the air is unmoved and the radio echoes across the hall unchallenged.
Summer is a time for hugging, holding, laughing, cheering, playing, learning, floating, bathing, running, washing, waving and refusing to sleep.
Now that the air is crisp and cool and our summer wetsuits are slightly frayed I am sitting still for a moment; reflecting on our sweet days of sunshine and sandwiches and the adventures that we had.
It is the first day of a new term. We are in our separate places; them all ironed, polished and packed up; me quietly thinking about three p.m.