Where to begin? This has been an incredibly emotional 36 hours, even by my standards, and I’m worn out from it, but also, very happy. So why all the outpouring? Mostly, because my baby who is now far, far from being a baby any more, started school today. Real, actual school, with books, a schoolbag and a uniform, and labels everywhere.
I’m still trying to get my head around the combination of emotion this brought up in me. I thought I was totally fine about it. I knew he was ready, and he’s had two years of Montessori, so it’s not like it’s the first time I’ve left him somewhere. Yet for some reason, on the way home from work yesterday, the tears came from out of nowhere, and just kept coming (I’m going to go ahead and say a good 10 to 15 miles of tears – thankfully it’s a reasonably straight road!!)
I’m not even sure what was going through my mind at the time. I was happy, sad, excited, scared, filled with regret for the past, hope for the future…………..enough to make the sanest of people cry, never mind me. I was trying to see it through his eyes, the boy who doesn’t like change (wonder where he got that from??!), who’s been known to get upset when we put new furniture in his room because it looks different. This is the biggest change he’s had to face since M came along nearly three years ago. The danger was that if Bitchface had been around yesterday, I would have gotten hung up on my own fears for him, and regret for the past. Thankfully she wasn’t, but this is something I’ll have to work on, to make sure I don’t go down that road. The past is done with, gone, and there’s nothing I can do to change it. For sure there are things I wish had gone differently – mostly that I hadn’t had post natal depression, twice, followed by two break downs. But I did. It’s not even so much that I regret the time that I lost, more that I’m sad because of it. I feel like depression took away so much of my ability to enjoy my kids’ early years, and if I’m not careful, I could get really angry about that.
But then I look at D. I look at the amazing, kind, sensitive, funny person he’s turning into.His little sister was really upset to be going to creche this morning without him. Without a word from me, he went up to her, gave her a big hug and a kiss and said, ‘it’s alright M, I’ll be back with you next week at afterschool, so you’ll see me then’. So yes, the last five years could have been different, but somewhere along the way, I did something, somethings even, right.
I saw Therapist today – a very well timed session!! – and she made me take a long hard look at a photo of myself and D just before I left him at school. I have a huge grin on my face, he’s sitting down with his little buddy and looking chuffed with himself. Did I mention he didn’t even hold my hand going in?? He barely even noticed me leave. So as much as I fear the impact my depression may have had on him, as much as I feel sadness at the time that was taken from us, as much as I worry for how he’ll manage out there in the world, I can’t help but feel happy when I look at that photo. We lost some time over the last few years, there’s no getting away from that. But we have so much more time ahead of us. Tonight, I’m going to look forward to that. I’m going to look forward to hearing about his new friends, watching him learn to read, to write, growing more into the wonderful person that I know he’s going to be. Mostly, I’m going to enjoy having time with my boy, and trust that he will be ok. If ever he’s not, then that’s ok too. And he knows that.