Family Life Personal

Our little boy walks to school and beyond

The built-in loneliness of parenting hit me as I watched our boy walking to school

So there I was, performing what must have looked like some weird CPR procedure as I force-palmed a bunch of newspapers into the already brimming green bin at the side of our house.

I looked up and my own heart could have done with some extra ventilation as I spotted my son O loping down the long straight stretch of path that leads to  phase one of our housing estate.

The pang in my chest felt as real as any ailment as I watched our 12-year-old, his back to me, long strawberry blond hair glistening and swaying in the low winter sun, all the way to the corner where he turned down the avenue. He was on his way to school, and beyond.

Walking on, half way through school already, and who knows where his path will take him?

The lovely padded school rain jacket was in his bulging schoolbag, of course, the blue of his school jumper blending with the clear sky and the end of his grey trousers hovering a good inch or more above the dark grey expanse of sock. We really have to get those altered in Mrs Stitches’ place.

Such much has happened over these past few weeks for our boy. A decent first semester school report in his first year of secondary school. Finished up at the local soccer club he joined as a buzzy bee six-year-old, chasing the huge-looking football with all the other buzzy-bee kids in the little yellow-tiled sports hall. Literally half a lifetime ago.

He has left the league representative team he was lately captaining because his new club, M*,  play in a different league.

We let the league team manager know O would be available for one more inter-league game as he would not be signing for his new ream for another month.

“Leave it with me,” said the manager, finally, wishing O, and us, all the best.  His ultimate response was the removal of my Whats App connection to the group. Tough game football, not just on the field.

How does that Fleetwood Mac song, Dreams, put it …

“Players only love you when they’re playing …”

Coaches are like that too. Loyalty is not to be separated from usefulness or context.

I don’t know if that manager is familiar with Dreams. If he is he could have quoted,

“You want your freedom

Well who am I to keep you down

It’s only right that you should

Play the way you feel it”

Didn’t happen. This is life, not Dreams.

“Play the way you feel it”. A lovely idea but how many of us live life that? Myself, I  feel more like the Rhinestone Cowboy: there’s been a load of compromisin’ on the road to my horizon. But hey, I’m good.

I have played it the way I felt it when it came to some of life’s major moments though, like meeting and marrying my lovely A, but the little things that make up a big life have not always been so straightforward.

Maybe O will be in a better position to play his football, and make his major life decisions, the way he feels it. I do hope so and of course A and I will fret and worry about all of this along the part of their journey we will be around for, both for O and for our girl K.

All the time. It’s part of the deal when you get together and produce these wonderfully frustrating and endearing new people, and eventually release them back into the wild.

We hope our dreams for O and K  work out, or that more importantly, their own will, and even now, I am thinking of the impermanence of it all. These children who have spent almost every day of their lives with us up to now, will all too soon leave the nest and move out and on.

Yes, we will  always be connected, but there is a built-in loneliness to this whole process, which hit me unexpectedly, and hard, when I looked up to see our boy walking to school.

“Dreams of loneliness,

Like a heartbeat, drives you mad

In the stillness of remembering, what you had,

And what you lost and what you had and what you lost”

— from Dreams, Fleetwood Mac

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Twin Mummy and Daddy

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30 comments on “Our little boy walks to school and beyond

  1. Oh Enda, I didn’t sign up for all these feelings when I sat down to read this! Now you’ve put a melancholy feeling in my chest and I don’t even have children. What am I supposed to do with that? Damn it!

    Liked by 2 people

    • One of my favourite words in the English language is melancholy. I love the sound and feel of it, but more than that I like the sentiment: it represents for me a proper immersion in the ying and yang of living. There is a richness to it, I feel, that is way beyond mere feeling sorry for yourself. And I think there is a sweetness to it also as it feels good to feel, even if the feelings are not always upbeat. Or something like that. Thanks for your comment

      Liked by 1 person

  2. wow, that was a bit emotional. My son is now 20, I still get pangs of joy, pain, delight, panic, concern, when he is here, away, worried, struggling. But ultimately, tying it all together is the overwhelming rush of love

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was just hit unexpectedly with the hard realisation that our little boy will all too soon be making his way outside our nest. Of course I know it in my head, but this time I knew it in my heart! Thanks for reading and commenting


  3. My children are getting more independent every day and it breaks my heart to know they are going on a journey where I can’t follow.
    Thanks for linking up with #globalblogging I hope you come back next week


    • Thanks for providing the platform!! At least we can accompany them for some of the journey. It’s the way if it, I suppose, the better the job we do the more independent they get. A rod for our own backs!


  4. This is beautifully written from the heart, all of my boys have f!own the nest, the house isn’t quite the same now, although they visit often #blogginggoidtine@_karendennis

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Karen> I suppose I am trying to prepare myself for the time when the kids won’t be the constant presences they are now, and which we usually take for granted. It was just suddenly looking up and seeing our boy walking down the path, like another person, that hit me.


  5. There is a sense of loss when your children leave home and I treasure those memories when it was us four against the world. They are still the biggest part of our life tho – connected by Whatsapp groups, get togethers, holidays and more. Each stage is different and wonderful. I’m now seeing mine in love and dreaming of a family of their own. But I will always treasure when my babes were home #thatfridayfeeling

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for yiur lovely comment. My head enjoys each stage – it’s just this time there was that awful sudden intimation of the impermanence of things. Everything is going fine really!


  6. pamsbakeandbabyblog

    Teaching them independance is teaching them to move away from us. What makes us proud breaks our hearts. Great post #blogcrush

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right .. do yiur job well and they leave! And it can’t be any other way, nor would we want it otherwise. Thanks for reading


  7. Enjoy their growing up while you still can! My two are 31 and 26 and it seems like only yesterday that we were taking them to places like Legoland. But it’s wonderful to see how their dreams develop.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh I dread the day my girls are old enough to walk to school by themselves. I’ll probably follow them ‘under cover’! Thanks for joining #ThatFridayLinky

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow! Didn’t expect the wave of feelings as I began this beautiful post. Thank you! #dreamteam xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Tough stuff. Melt my heart why don’t you?! My D is only 2 and I’m already fearing the day she goes off into the big wide world without us. I can’t imagine letting her walk anywhere on her own, but know i started walking to the bus stop on my own at 11. That seems so young. But, as you say, it’s painfully inevitable. I just hope I can hold myself together enough to not become a crazed, overbearing parent! #BlogCrush

    Liked by 1 person

    • What’s thst song, Who Knows Where The Time Goes? That’s how it feels sometimes! When the time comes we will be ready to let them go won’t we? Thanks for your lovely comment


  11. diynige

    What a very emotional read fab post Thank you for linking to #Thatfridaylinky please come back next week

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Winnettes

    You were stripped from the conversation very abruptly by the coach! I wish I knew where the strange parental loneliness stems from. I think we all suffer from it; to be surrounded by others but to feel so alone. Thank you for joining #ThursdayTeam

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Rhyming with Wine

    I felt every word of this! There is such a poignancy in watching our littles grow up before our eyes isn’t there? That feeling that they won’t always depend on us with all of their being, and knowing that one day they will chose which parts of their life we’re invited to take part in. The pride in your post shines through though. Thanks for linking to #DreamTeam.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. mackenzieglanville

    The visuals in this post are so beautiful. Your writing here truly took me on a journey of emotion. My daughter is thirteen and I was just taking to a close friend earlier today about how she is beginning to really embrace independence. It is beautiful to see her and how proud she is of herself as she grows, yet still there are glimpses of my little girl who still needs her mummy when she feels worried or confused. Thank you so much for joining us #abloggingoodtime


    • Thanks so much for your lovely, thoughtful comment. Yes it is an amazing journey she is on … it’s just she could make it bit easier for us at times to support her on it!😀


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