“Mum, I’m sad…”
Poor H – tomorrow’s going to be tough. Conflicting emotions are really surfacing tonight. She’s worried about saying goodbye to her friends, but she’s a bit excited about the little farewell party they’re throwing for her in class. And then she remembers the reason for the party and she’s sad again.
I noticed that she’s packed the school year book in her hand luggage so she can have it with her when we land. And T’s been thumbing madly through the photo book his friends gave him on the weekend. There’s a great picture of him and his little mates beaming out from the front cover and I must admit, that’s as far as I’ve got – it’ll be a while before I’m brave enough to look inside.
They’ve got a wonderful bunch of friends here and it’s been such a pleasure getting to know their buddies and seeing the friendships develop. Knowing that we’ve put them – again – in a situation where they have to say goodbye and start afresh weighs heavily on me. It’s simply awful seeing them trying to deal with a situation that you, yourself, are struggling through. Kids, like us, form strong bonds with their friends and mine are certainly old enough to understand how the move will impact them. I know they’ll stay in touch via electronic media (and I hope through snail-mail too), but missing the games of tag and a good laugh after school will leave a void.
I still remember the last day of school in The Hague and it was a shocker. Lots of people were leaving at the time and after everyone had said their goodbyes, there wasn’t a dry eye in the playground – parents, kids and the teachers alike. The kids had friends who were British, Irish, Dutch, Finnish…and we all knew it’ll be a long while before we see each other again, if at all.
We’re luckier this time around, as quite a few of their friends here are from Melbourne. It’s comforting to know that eventually they’ll come home too – either on visits or for good, which makes it a little easier to leave them. But only just.
Tomorrow’s going to be tough, but in a lot of ways, so are the kids. I honestly think they’ll get through this day better than me.
And as for me – I’ll just keep my sunglasses on.