I went to my last-ever primary school band spectacular last night.
I’ve been going to primary school band spectaculars for seven years.
It had an “Australia” theme, so they played iconic songs between the band performances. One dad thought he’d make the night just that little bit more memorable for the crowd – and the mortified child sitting beside him, pulling at his sleeve and begging him to sit down – by leaping to his feet and singing along to “You’re the Voice” at the top of his lungs with extravagant arm gestures.
It was the strangest feeling to sit there watching another parenting journey come to an end.
It’s a bit cruel the way childhood speeds up and races away from you. The days feel like sand trickling through my fingers.
Soon it will be over and I’ll wish I’d cherished those precious years more.
Elder statesmen annoy the crap out of you with their smug homilies when you’re battling in the trenches of early childhood – all that “the days are long but the years are short” stuff.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
It feels like their childhood will be infinite, that there is always tomorrow to do or say or play or make or take or cuddle.
Then suddenly there isn’t. They no longer beg you to take them to the park so they can clamber on the play equipment with a little plastic animal clutched tightly in one fist.
Instead, they are buried in their phones and their friends and are no longer entirely yours.
I’m discovering that single parenting as they enter their teens has its own peculiar challenges.
When you are parenting together under the same roof you can discuss and analyse and work on solutions in unison. In two separate households you’re on your own, lying awake in the dark worrying.
You can send your co- parent texts, wondering how to approach certain issues, but it’s not quite the same.
And you don’t see your child every day, so there are little black holes of knowledge about them.
And it scares you.
I have the kids this weekend and I’m determined we won’t spend it lazing on the couch, eating pizza and watching tellie. As appealing as that is after a long, tiring week. But no, we are going to get out and do some stuff together.
Actually, you will not believe some of the stuff we are going to get out and do. I can’t quite believe I even suggested it, let alone bought the tickets.
I’ll fill you in on Monday.
Have a good weekend!
Song of the day: Kylie Minogue “Step back in time”