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!