‘Is that your last one?’ ‘Congratulations on your youngest!’ ‘You will have no children in primary school anymore?’ Hesitantly, I say ‘yes’ and ‘thank you’ and ‘indeed’, and wonder if I am just numb, or really have processed it, or if the tears are yet to come.
It turns out to be the last. I kept it dry with the musical (traditionally at the end of primary school, the children who will go to secondary school perform a musical) and the saying-goodbye-days by way of corona school camp (also tradition to end primary school in Holland). But soon I will have to wait for our fourth in the schoolyard after a fantastic saying goodbye party and now the tears suddenly are streaming down my cheeks.
Soon I will toast to our fourth. Toast to life, to the time that went by and the time that is to come. Soon I will see my son running towards me, so grown since that day he went to primary school for the first time. I feel proud. Pleasure in who this child is and will become. I am so grateful for this child of ours.
And soon I will get my child from primary school for the last time and that hurts. This was not meant to be the last time, and yet now it is. So I didn’t feel anything for a while. I just went to see the musical. I went to help out at the saying-goodbye-days. It is just the way it is, and I am certainly proud of my four teenagers, of whom the oldest will receive her grammar school diploma tomorrow. I do not wish them any younger, I do not want to keep them small, but in my heart there is wtill my other child who would now be three years old and with whom I would love to go through the whole circus again.
So what to do now? I don’t want to walk to the schoolyard feeling so heavy and low. I want to be the mom who greets and hugs her child with her full attention. I don’t want to complain about feeling loss and sadness, but realize again that it doesn’t work to just ignore those feelings. Suppressing feelings might mean you feel less sad, but it also means you will feel joy less deeply.
So I write again. Giving space to sadness. So that I am able to afterwards collect our child together with my Love. Probably for the last time.
First written in Dutch on July 14, 2020