I never thought I would enjoy being a "stay at home Mum," I thought I would find it tedious, dull, uninspiring. I thought young children would be tedious, dull and uninspiring, after all, everyone else's were. I never expected that with every contraction I was not just pushing a baby into the world but pushing an unfathomable love into my heart that has deepened into an unwavering delight in being with my children. Just writing this is bringing to my mind their smiles, their love of playing with each other and being in each other's company, pictures of them as toddlers stumbling in the garden, Isla feeding Blue, Angus and his cello, a jumble of memories and feelings, days spent nurturing them, watching, smiling, running errands, being in their company.
I know that it hasn't always been bliss. They argue with me, each other, themselves. They can be stroppy; I can be grumpy. Some days drag on devoid of the stimulation I crave; some days have more stimulation than my brain can process and I long for quiet but my abiding memories are the joy I have had watching then grow and change into confident young people, articulate, kind, interesting to be with and with a remarkable bond with each other.
Isla starts school in two days.
There, I have written it down, in black and white. The contrast of the colours illustrating the contrast in my heart of what life will be like after Wednesday. White and black: joy and sadness. I shall miss these days with my child at home. I already resent the call the school is making on her time and she hasn't even lined up on the school yard. I want to teach her. I want to be there when she reads her first word. I want to see her learn to write and count. I want to discuss things with her when she is ready and not when the curriculum decides she ought to be. I want to take her out when the days shout to be walked in, when the sun wants to honoured for daring to show up. I want to make jam and bread and biscuits with her and not just crammed into a weekend. I don't want to have to portion up the weekends prioritising what we do this week and what will have to wait until the next. I haven't even tried her school uniform on: I dread seeing her in it, a finality I am trying to avoid and deny.
So I am sad.