You know that film and theatre show Mamma Mia?
You know that touching scene when the mother and daughter sing "Slipping through my fingers"?
"School bag in hand, she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile.
I watch her go with a surge of that well-known sadness
And I have to sit down for a while"
That Abba song came on my ipod this morning and it always gets to me - always. (Yes, I have Abba on my ipod!)
It seems like moments ago I was dropping Sibs off at her first day in her new primary school in Australia and then yesterday I was taking her to the airport for her final year camp trip to Sydney and Canberra! School camps are big over here.
In the final year of my primary school we went on a camp trip almost down the road to Parkmill in the Gower Peninsula. I have many memories. I think a few of us girls had read the Enid Blyton books Mallory Towers and St Clare's and had this idea that it was all going to be midnight feasts and a jolly good time! Instead it was cold and wet and we seemed to walk for miles and miles looking for lichen and trying to keep our soggy clipboards dry!
Sibs's trip on the other hand, is a full packed itinerary that takes in all the important sights of Canberra - Parliament House, Australian War Memorial, Government House, Questacon, Royal Mint, National Gallery and not forgetting an afternoon at Taronga Zoo in Sydney. A bit different to traipsing through the Gower coastline in South Wales!
The house is already feeling so quiet. No constant singing, no bouncing, twirling and prancing around.
Twmff is doing his usual moping around the place when Sibs isn't here. He's such a sook sleeping on her school bag.
An hour quickly became two (and then more) and it was so relaxing on the front deck that it just called out for a Hendricks, a candle and some crooning from Mr George Michael on the ipod. Bliss.
Routine is out of the window this week - I'm not organising my day around early morning music drop off or 3pm school pick ups. It's strange.
"Sleep in our eyes, her and me at the breakfast table
Barely awake, I let precious time go by.
Then when she's gone, there's that odd melancholy feeling
And a sense of guilt I can't deny"
I'm getting a glimpse into the next few years of increased independence. Whilst I encourage it and seem to constantly have the conversation with Sibs about needing to "take responsibility for this, that and the other" it's also a shift into a new world.
"Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it.
Slipping through my fingers all the time.
Do I really see what's in her mind.
Each time I think I'm close to knowing
She keeps on growing"
For Sibs, this week away is not only to go and see and understand more about Australia, it's really another step in growing up.
I know each phase in childhood is big at the time - first steps, first words, first school....
Somehow though, this one feels huge. I can really see her shaping into a young adult. She's getting more and more confident in expressing herself and sharing her opinions.
I've stopped saying "please stop growing up" and I'm making a conscious effort to enjoy the change in her...however challenging some of the sharing of opinions can be!
As she was chatting with her friend at the airport yesterday she said that she had two things to remember on this trip - to have fun and to concentrate.
So she does listen to what I say...
|enjoying a quiet Monday moment|
Here's to a good and safe week, full of concentration and fun!