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School Days

on August 28, 2013

This week my news feed on Facebook has been filled with people commenting about their kids going back to school.  They seem to fall into three categories:

1.  Excited for their children to be going back – and talking about the kids excitement.

2. “Sad” because their kids are “growing up to fast” and moving on in years.

3.  Very sad, because their children are no longer living, and moving on in grades.  Some sad, because their younger children are now reaching a grade that the child that had died never did.

When Alexander was born I always felt I would have fallen into the the first category.  I remember being so excited for the first day of school.  Getting a new outfit, school supplies, the picture at the front door.  I looked forward to the day Alexander would get to go to school to play and learn new things.  I don’t think my parents were ever “sad” that I was growing up too fast, and if they were they hid it well.
That is one category I just don’t understand – perhaps because Alexander never got to grow up.   Shouldn’t we be HAPPY our children are growing up, are healthy and learning new things?   Sure, I miss the snuggly times we had when Julia was a new born, but it is so great to see her learning new things.  I love watching her play with her toys, figuring them out.  Each day she seems to learn something new.

I wonder if in a year or two I will fall into category number 3, when my friends children that are the same age as Alexander start going to school.  Sometimes I do wonder now, what he would be doing, what he would be learning in preschool.  but, I have also found I can’t focus on that or I will just get to sad.  However, I do understand the sadness that my friends that had older children that were already in school have.

So for those that are sad because their kids are going back to school – don’t be – they are just growing up the way they should be!  Celebrate this!  Take those pictures at the front door, and take them out for an Ice Cream when they get home, and listen to all the things they learned that day. One day, not too long from now, they might not be so excited about going to school.

For those that are sad because their children are gone – take a LOT of deep breaths – take your living children out for ice cream, and if you don’t have other children, take yourself out for ice cream.  Praying that these days will be bearable for you.


4 responses to “School Days

  1. Erin says:

    Thanks for the perspective. I’m in a category all my own, someone who will never have my own kids, with this day just one more reminder. Many people miss their children, and you’re right, not all of them are alive, or have ever lived. I’m thankful for the taste, getting to help raise my nephews, but even that is a category x, a sadness watching “my” child with special needs have to go back to spending all day in a place that makes him so unhappy. School is a trigger for many people, some whom you’d never think of. I hope there are better days ahead for all who suffer.

  2. E says:

    I’m not sure sad is exactly the right term, but as kids get older there’s definitely a sense of nostalgia about them being little. The start of school seems very much to be a day that reminds us of the movement of time in our lives. As adults, we age and don’t always feel that different, but watching kids change so rapidly is both an amazing and a slightly scary thing. And this is especially true when they start to reach double digits, and are that much closer to puberty and even adulthood. Maybe it’s because I don’t have the fondest memories of junior high, but I’m just stunned that Ian’s only a year away from that milestone! Does that help make sense of the way people are writing about that?

    • thecookiegal says:

      I do see your point there. Sometimes when I look at Julia and all the great things she is doing, I do miss when she would just let me rock with her, and not be distracted by all the wonderful things in life. But there were many posts I saw that people were CRYING about their kids going back to school, and really seeming to be SAD that they were growing up, not so much a sense of nostalgia, but perhaps that was just how I was reading into it….

  3. Bill Wright says:

    We lost our two year old daughter unexpectedly and very quickly in January after she died within 48 hours of being diagnosed with a brain tumour, having seemed only a little bit poorly all week, but deteriorated rapidly on the Sunday.

    Eight and a half months in, I can’t ever imagine being at peace with the fact that the light of my life is no longer by my side, She was/is my greatest source of pride and joy and we were inseperable. She has left behind a twin brother, big sister and Mummy who all worshipped her, she was the undisputed star of our family. I like to think that this intense pain will become more manageavle, but this thought is tempered with that familiar paradox that we are in our club are familiar with; that is, that the pain is our link to our dead child and we are frightened at the thought of the intensity of the pain lessening.

    Getting back to the point of why I was commenting……I agree 100% that we should all celebrate getting older, it’s a privelege and honour to do so. My Dad, (well meaning, but verbally clumsy!) was telling me the other day about how much his 80 year old brother in law is quite badly physically suffering with various complaints. He sighed ‘It’s terrible getting old isn’t it?’

    You can imagine what I wanted to say back to him! Of course I said nothing, no point upsetting him, when he meant no harm, butif it happens again, I think I might have to let him know how I feel.


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