This post has very little to do with papercraft, although I was inspired to write it today as I was looking through my stash of photographs. Photographs which have been patiently waiting to be scrapped for just a ‘few’ years ;-). The story goes like this . . . .
On this day, 12 years ago, I was a 23 year old mother of a 3 month old baby. She was a little baby, a baby who didn’t sleep much, who fed poorly and who worried us (and Nanna and the paediatrician) to no end. We really had no idea what we were doing, but she smiled at us early and often and had this ‘look’ in her eye. A look which other people used to comment upon such as “She has been here before, hasn’t she?” and “She looks like she’s trying to say something”. We were so tired and so despairing of this little person who had been sent to live with us, but we loved her to bits and plodded on through the years.
Then one day, she started ‘BIG’ school. She still worried us to no end, she still ate like a bird and she didn’t particularly enjoy sleeping either. But she still had ‘that’ look in her eye and we now knew that they had broken the mold when they made this one for us.
Somehow by that stage, we were also the parents of a 3 year old and a 6 month old baby. I was in the ‘barely have time to brush your own hair’ stage of motherhood and although I don’t remember much, I do remember having a lump in my throat the size of a mutant watermelon when this picture was taken (and my baby looks like she had plums in her cheeks!)
So I cried. I cried all the way home pushing my double limousine pram and when I got home I sobbed some more. I put baby and toddler to bed and there was an awful silence, so I cried some more. I cried because I had handed over my ‘baby’ girl into a huge school where she looked the same as everyone else in her little blue dress, hat and black shoes and I was fearful that they would try to change the shape of her mold, make her dance to the beat of their drum, just so she would fit in and not cause anyone too many headaches.
My fears never came true. They came very close on a few occasions, but we survived. We’re all OK, she’s OK, my tears on her first day were tears wasted. My worries over the years have been many, but we’re OK.
Today, she finished Primary School.
A new school, the most wonderful school, a school which I wish we had of moved to many years ago.
The teachers, God bless them, formed a Guard of Honour with the Year 5 kids. That mutant watermelon sized lump came back to visit.
The school collectively cheered and clapped as the Year 6 kids formed a circle with their teachers and friends.
They joined hands and in a chorus of 400 voices, we all sang Auld Lang Syne. Everyone but me, I couldn’t sing. Curse that mutant watermelon.
I just cried.
I cried because I am so damn proud of my baby girl, I am so proud of the beautiful young lady she is becoming, I am so proud that she is still very much an individual, she dances quite happily to the (sometimes odd) beat of her own drum and I am so proud that she has an incredibly bright future ahead of her.
She still doesn’t eat much you know. She goes to bed at 11pm most nights and she is adept at making grey hairs pop out of our heads at an alarming rate, but she’s AMAZING that baby girl of ours and she’s going to High School.
She didn’t want me to take this photo. “I’m crying Mum, and my face is all red”.
“Don’t worry”, I laughed, “you’re just ending it exactly the way I started”.