I’ve just walked out of your room after reading you a story, playing your ‘delay sleep’ games like needing water, cuddles, another story and more cuddles and I’m standing dead still in the kitchen. Nothing’s wrong, it’s just the end of a pretty special phase and the start of a new one for you, and for all of us. You’re off to school tomorrow, your first day of ‘formal education’ and I thought I’d write you a little note.
You won’t realise this now, but maybe one day you will. See, this parenting gig, it’s really just a whole bunch of awesome experiences peppered with a shit load of ‘letting go’. From the minute you were born there were moments where we already had to let you go and kid, let me tell you, it’s gut wrenching. Doesn’t matter if it’s letting go of you to hand you to the doctor, or letting go of you in the day care centre. It all hits you right in the feels and no amount of vodka, wine, chocolate or Kmart shopping trips will make that feeling go away.
Tomorrow, we’ve got to let go of you as you start your first day of school. Your dad and I aren’t sure if it’s easier or harder because we’re teachers ourselves. Even though we deal with this all the time, we’re not immune from the craziness of seeing you walk out of our arms and into the schoolyard. See up until now, we’ve been able to mostly do all of your education. We’ve been able to control who comes into your life and shield the shit as it flies your way. Now we’re not physically there to do that for you. It’s your turn now, to get out there in that big wide world and start working it out for yourself.
Part of me feels like there’s a billion things I’m yet to tell you before tomorrow comes. Like, make sure you ask lots of questions, and listen – really listen, not just to instructions but to all the people you’ll meet. You learn so much from listening.
And, eat your lunch slowly, there’s no hurry for anything, the playground will still be there just finish your ham and hummus wrap goddammit! Patience will get you lots of places.
And, technology is great, but the humans around it, the ones that you connect with through it, they are so much better than the tech itself. So connect yourself with others in real life, you’ll thank me for that one.
And tie your shoelaces, and use your manners, and open the door for others, and put your rubbish in the bin, and don’t rush your work, and create, and laugh, and share, and try your best, and be kind – always be kind, and give it another shot if you don’t get it the first time and… and… you know what, I can’t possibly fit all of those things in that I want you to know. Part of me feels that you already know this anyway. So, i’ll leave you with this.
When you were 1, we celebrated with our close family. We wrote wishes to you on card, and planted them under an olive tree. One of the wishes simply said ‘I wish you wings’. Your dad and I have built up your wings since we knew you were ours. Each strong feather has been given to you by the incredible people in your life, and you’ve added your own feathers along the way. Your wings are ready son, and they are yours to fly as high as you can, to soar above expectations, glide through challenges and float calmly through the beauty of this life. You are Archer and as much as I’m sad to let you go into the wide world, I know you have the gift of flight and you will use it to all it’s potential.
Now, pick up your bloody school shoes, clean your room and stop picking your nose because I need a cuddle. I’m your mum, I’ll always need one more cuddle.