Life is a trickle of days and then you have kids and suddenly it’s a deluge. It sweeps you away, leaves you gasping for breath.
Finn started kindy last week.
It is such a privilege watching my children grow and I love being part of it but god, it makes my heart ache.
It feels like no time at all since I met that tiny scrap for the very first time. I remember the way he used to curl into me; the smell of his fuzzy little head; that gut-wrenching newborn cry; his gorgeous gurgle of a giggle; how I used to anticipate when he’d wake in the middle of the night, even when he was in another room. All the firsts: his first car trip; his first day home from the hospital; his first steps.
Over the course of your life, there are moments you never forget. Some are the obvious ones: your Inter Cert maths exam, the first day you arrive in the Middle East, your wedding day, the first time you whack a major commercial bank.
And many memories are surprising by virtue of their outstanding mundanity. One of the things that falls under this category is from when I was just a little older than Finn is now. The Oakleys occasionally drove me to school, and I still recall being dragged writhing, kicking and screaming, to their car. There are probably still fingernail-marks scored on the gate-post. I don’t know whether it was the same day or another, but I remember sitting on my teacher Mrs William’s knee, sobbing desolately.
The reason for it has not been preserved, but the memory is vivid enough that, even now, I can taste and feel and smell how distraught I was.
So I was anxious how Finn would adjust to kindy.
Well. My son walked into the place, threw off his jacket, cracked open a box of magnetic construction blocks and set into engineering a highway across the floor.
I stayed a few minutes to complete some forms and then said goodbye.
“Bye, Mum!” said Finn.
“Er. Can I have a hug? And a kiss?”
And Finn would probably have rolled his eyes if he weren’t giving me a look that clearly said, “Jeez, some people are so NEEDY.”
Since he’s a kind, thoughtful, considerate little fella, he was good enough to humour me.
There were tears.
I cried all the way home.