If we were having coffee, I’d tell you, all that was really on my mind is my daughter leaving primary school, so I hope you don’t mind us having a big chat about that.
I have plenty of chocolate biscuits to get us through it though, and some lovely mint blend tea.
My daughter, who has chosen the name “Lil Reuben” (Minecraft Story Mode) for my blog, is about to take her next big step, starting High School. She just had her last day of Primary School. In the UK, kids go to high school at age 11, and will finish at 16 or 18 depending on if they want to take A Level exams and head to University.
I’ve been trying to prepare her for the last few months, mostly by helping her see the positives of high school. She visited her new high school for two days at the start of July, and she loved it so much and became excited for September when she will be starting there. I knew that mostly, Lil Reuben would be excited to leave primary school as she’s been desperate for a new start. I’ve been excited for her to leave too, because of so many reasons, some of which I’ve already gone into including being discriminated against at the school gates. I don’t have to deal with those people anymore, and have added the awesome mums I met on Facebook or have their phone numbers. It was therefore surprising, when it came to it, that we both felt sad.
It makes sense though, my daughter has been a part of that school for the last 8 years, starting there in Nursery aged 3, now all of a sudden, she isn’t part of that anymore. It’s hard to believe it’s been 8 years, however, at the leavers assembly they showed pictures of our kids from every class they’ve ever been in. My daughter, who looked very much like a baby when she first started because she was so tiny and one of the smallest kids in her school, has been through this dramatic transformation into a very lovely young lady who is definitely not the smallest in her year anymore. So it doesn’t feel like 8 years, until I really think about it, and think about all the stuff Lil Reuben and I have been through during that time, and then it feels like a little infinity.
I know that I am so lucky to feel sad about my beautiful daughter leaving primary school. I am also so lucky to grieve for the baby she no longer is. I can’t even begin to imagine what it feels like to lose a child, because the grief I currently feel for her younger self is bad enough but I’m lucky that she is still here, and I feel better thinking about the person she is now, and how far she’s come and how unbelievably proud I am of who she is and how I love her so much for who she is now. Lil Reuben is being forced into growing up and going to high school, and time is a bit evil that way. There doesn’t ever feel like there is time to stand still, and just take in the moment, because all of a sudden she wakes up a different person than she was yesterday, a little bit taller, a little bit more grown up, a little bit more independent. Leaving primary school, is one of the “lasts” that is actually celebrated, but there has been many lasts, the last time I breastfed her, the last time I bathed her, the last time I had to do the whole choo-choo-airplane thing with her spoon to feed her and they just all of a sudden disappeared. She just woke up one day able to feed herself, able to bathe herself, and I didn’t know those last times, would be the last times. They just were. So I guess I feel sad because her leaving primary school reminds me of all the lasts that just passed me by, and all the lasts that are yet to come.
I also think about myself a little bit, which is a bit self involved I know, but what am I for when she doesn’t need me as much anymore? I know she will always need me, but Lil Reuben saved my life. As many of you readers know I have Bipolar disorder, and I had an eating disorder too, the latter of which I’ve recovered from. Lil Reuben was the reason I recovered, not for me, for her and rightly or wrongly, depending on which way you look at it, I’ve devoted my entire life to raising her the best way I possibly can. She’s the reason I take meds and have sought treatment, because I know what it feels like to have a parent that doesn’t get help, and I blamed myself a lot for that, that I wasn’t good enough for my dad to try harder. Even though, I now know that it wasn’t anything to do with me, I didn’t ever want her to blame herself. I’m doing this for her because I love her so much, because she deserves to have a mum who doesn’t have an eating disorder, a mum that is relatively stable, even if I feel like, I’m worthless and “What’s the point?” The answer is always, because Lil Reuben is worth it.
I guess I worry about myself when she doesn’t need me as much anymore, but at the same time, I really hope she gets to the point where she doesn’t need me as much anymore. I still rely on my mum for a lot of things because I’m not well. I hope that my daughter does all the things she wants to. Right now she has her heart set on Cambridge University, I know, she dreams big and I’m so happy that she does because I was always too ill mentally when I was her age to have any dreams, and I want her to be able to have everything she wants. I want her to be independent of me more than anything else, but at the same time I’m not sure how I’m going to cope with that but I don’t want her to stay here and not have her dreams because she’s worried about me.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I had the idea for Lil Reuben to make a memory box to put all her primary school stuff in, and it seemed to help a lot. She’s happy she has a special place to put her keepsakes in, like the shirt she had signed on the last day.
It’s cute as, the little yellow heart with the two buttons inside are from one of her school shirts, and the stickers are stickers the teachers gave to her for being good. The top left has a blue school sticker, of which I blurred out, and inside, pictures with her two best friends that she’s leaving to go to a different high school. We covered the inside with pretty fabric that she chose, it doesn’t look anything like the plain brown shoe box it once was! So I recommend making a memory box, it’s helped us both.
So how was your week? Let me know in the comments, or join in yourself with the coffee shares and head to Diana at Part Time Monster’s blog.