A sense of something missing…

 I spent the other evening holding my baby.

It’s easy to neglect giving time to do that when you get busy with other things. And anyway, most nights over the past two years, she’s been in her boyfriend’s arms not mine.

She doesn’t fit so easily in my arms as when she was tiny of course. But sat lobbed against me, arms round each other, my head on hers is how she spent her last evening before going away to Uni. I had that last lovely whiff of my child’s hair and soft snuggly armful you don’t get so much as they get older!

Who was holding who wasn’t quite clear; I think it was mutual. But for me that lovely sensation you get of holding someone when you have small children came flooding back. Then it has to be given up. Life as a parent is a series of giving up of things you actually want to hang onto a little longer – de-cluttering is nothing in comparison.

Goodness! What a sense of something missing there is in the house now after all those years of childhoods and home education, of rogue marbles in unexpected places and the cut of sharp Lego pieces on bare feet. Sticky fingerprints on everything.

Of course, there are some losses that are advantageous; distractions for a start. I can at last focus on my work although I have to admit that suddenly it doesn’t look so appealing. But, now I’m thinking of it, there’ll be half the amount of laundry and no more long hairs draped over the basin. There used to be so much hair in the plug hole it could stop water; sometimes I thought there was a guinea pig in the shower tray. There’ll be no more glasses on the carpet for me to trip over and drink remnants splattered up the sofa. Far, far less washing up and no panty liners round the washing machine any more. So some positives.

But right now all I notice is that my arms are empty. And I’m sure glad that I took the opportunity the other night to hold my baby like I used to even though she’s grown. Make sure you use the chance to do the same.

For even though it feels like it at times, especially when you home school, they really won’t be with you forever!

15 thoughts on “A sense of something missing…

  1. going round the new blogring, i was reading through, and this brought a lump to my throat. my eldest dd is a nearly teen, and suddenly time seems to be running out

  2. It’s a strange time isn’t it… my little girl (taller than me!) is in Ulster, she’s having a great time and I’m so pleased for her, she was ready to move on to a new part of her life… and yet it is so quiet without ehr!

  3. My eldest child left home to start college in Bath 3 years ago. Now she lives and works in the area – miles and miles away from home. I miss her desperately but love our new relationship. Gone is the parent/child relationship – hello to a new relationship of two equal woman who enjoy each others company and treasure every precious minute spent together. I have loved every minute of her life but I really love the young confident woman she has become and our new equal relationship. (Although I can still be her ‘Mother’ when needs be!!!) Oh, and when she’s home, my so grown-up little girl still leaves full glasses on the floor for me to kick over – something she won’t dream of doing in her own home. Some things never change!

    I am now watching her little sister also take her first baby steps in young adult-hood. And after some very difficult teenage years, I am also very very proud of her and our relationship. This morning she headed off in her car to a new job. A fine young woman with the world at her feet.

    Enjoy your new journey Ross and the new relationship with your precious baby. Not a sense of something missing – but something gained with a whole new rich and rewarding chapter about to be added to your life.

    PS The fight for the right for my youngest precious baby to have an education continues. In the meantime, we are loving home education and already I see him making leaps and bounds and re-gaining his confidence. We are off to find some Romans today!

    • Thank you very much for leaving such a wonderful comment. Like you I enjoy that adult relationship with my eldest now and always look forward to the time when they come home and leave glasses on the floor! And like you say, I am looking forward to the next chapter. Thanks again. x

  4. Oh that has really made me want to cry, it feels like such a long time off for us. It feels like forever away. I am loving home educating (have been doing it since April) and sometimes that forever feeling is daunting! But then I can’t imagine them not being here! Thank God I found the home education route so I can spend so many more of those precious moments with them! Thanks for your posts Ross, these and your book have been truly inspirational and so practical too. I really appreciate them.

  5. I’ve got a big lump in my throat reading that, I wondered this morning if the youngest had gone yet. I can’t write anything else I feel too emotional and floppy – I’m not much help am I? At least your earlier comment was a help – you shouldn’t have written such a heart stopping post, it’s turned me into a jellied eel. Biggest hugs sent through the air to you.

  6. Aw Ross, you brought tears to my eyes – I’ll be holding my ‘babies’ extra tight tonight, while I can (so glad they’re still all snuggly). Perhaps you could buy yourself a big bunch of flowers to put on the mantelpiece, and every time you see them, say “well done” to yourself for successfully raising your beautiful children to adulthood. You and they are such a suceess story, and you are all inspiring a whole new generation – thank you :)

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