Stop the ride, I want to get off.



Do you ever wish you could press the pause button on time? We are all familiar with the pace of life increasing, the distractions becoming more intense, insistent. Especially at a junction in the road, a new beginning, to have some breathing space would be wonderful.

I’m not good with change. I used to be known when I was little for going into a ‘dwam’ in difficult situations. The closest equivalent meaning of this old Scots word is daydream but it is more often employed to describe inertia caused by the pain of indecision.  Like a metaphorical pulling of the duvet over your head in fear of being found out as a failure or fraud.

Having children means not having the luxury of this sort of checking out. However tricky things get food still need to be provided, little bodies and clothes washed.

Arriving at a significant milestone in the family journey presents a major challenge; my head longs to escape but my hands must stay busy. My youngest will start school in less than a month. There is no question of readiness or age-appropriateness; he will be six in April. His two brothers are four and two years ahead of him, he has been in and out of the school for as long as he can remember and will be starting with other younger siblings in the same position. He is bright and inquisitive, confident and kind, qualities that will stand him in great stead in the classroom and playground.

Despite knowing all of this I am dreading it. I will miss him. More than that, I will miss the stage of my life that has seen me more sleep-deprived than a student cramming for finals, less concerned than I have ever been in terms of my appearance. I I’m sure I have said it before and it’s perhaps no more pc now than it was then but I like being defined by my role of Mum. I enjoy being needed. Motherhood is the most challenging and rewarding occupation I have ever found myself lucky to be in. It brings with it soul-searing responsibility and often a feeling of utter terror about the world and the minefield of hazards our little ones will have to negotiate but I wouldn’t chance it for anything.

My oldest is experimenting with a new attitude attitude, trying the bolshy pre-teen exterior on for size. This of course is massively exaggerated with in the company of his peers and I mourn the loss of the innocence, the uncomplicated way of seeing the world when ‘owies’ could be fixed with a chocolate button and everyone was a friend. It will of course be only a matter of time before his little brother feels the same and knowing this sets up a kind of mourning for that which I am yet to lose.

My youngest has always been tactile and cuddly and still is for now. He is possessed of a wicked little sense of humour, seeing the world in a whacky and refreshing way; is happily dancing his way through life. With exactly three weeks until school I plan to dance the steps with him, spend as much time bolstering his precious personality and engaging with his wonder as I can for before you can say ‘uniform’, as people have said to me, I won’t know myself.


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