Nostalgia: a sentimental longing or wistful affection for a period in the past.

It caught my breath yesterday. 

More than once.

The year 12’s locker area is a bit too quiet and empty, a little like a ghost town. 

Macbeth is back on the shelves again. The tomorrows await the next cohort.

It happens every year, when the year 12s are meant to leave, they leave. 

This year though, it’s different. 

Never before have I felt quite so much like I was being left behind. 

Never before has this joy-filled rite of passage, hurt. 

Never before have I been left with what feels like a little hollow sitting in my chest. A little hole that’s at once empty and full of nostalgia. 

But then never before have two of our own children been among the leaving.

2020 though a difficult year has become the repository of some of my happiest and “achiest” memories.

Fellow parents, please tell me you are also feeling this ache. 

Even better — tell me the remedy.

Tell me that you know how to do the journey from newborn to adulthood without the bittersweet ache almost overwhelming you.

Tell me that you’ve found the way to hold all the different versions of your children in your heart at once so that it doesn’t engulf you.

It’s true, we won’t see them in their school uniforms again. 

He won’t nod at me on his way into the classroom. 

He won’t sit at that desk anymore. 

Yesterday she didn’t wander by, they didn’t wonder “when are we leaving” …

The school chapter has ended – as it should. 

I guess, much like the rest of the parenting path that has led to this point, we have never truly felt prepared for the next step. 

The next step for me, and maybe you too, might just be to walk through the nostalgia. 

I spent last week trying to avoid looking too closely at it, for fear I’d spend the week crying and missing other moments.

Yesterday I decided it was time to look into the void. And so started to process by writing but halted unsure of how to proceed — then this morning, this clip (below) appeared in my inbox. And all of a sudden I felt better.

Nostalgia means not only did you have good moments but you remember them. 

A life without nostalgia, is a perhaps a life that has not known happiness and joy, and to me that sounds worse than the present discomfort.

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