It's time to change your name
I remember when I first met you all. One of you had bright red hair, one you had a small baby on your lap – another had the perfect handbag. I was pregnant, nervous, and tired.
I didn’t know what I was doing with this first child in pre-school. I had no-one to follow, no-one to teach me. I didn’t really want to talk to you. I just wanted to get in the gate and out. Tick it off the “to do list” for the day.
Then you smiled. Then one of you asked me when my baby due. One of you asked if I needed help with pick up. One of you asked me why Jasper’s hair was orange.
I am not sure if our children were friends back then. I know I invited the wrong “Jack” to the first school birthday party – that’s how we first met. By mistake.
At the end of the first year, we had a Christmas concert. I sat with my family only and smiled politely back at you.
Now - we just sat at our last primary school concert together. We were all together – squished on a few blankets. Sitting so close kind of symbolised what we had become. We kind of watched the concert, we kind of listened to the songs – we all kind of cried.
I looked around and saw you all.
I know your dogs’ names, what your children are allergic to and how many runs they got in cricket last week. I know which gym you go to and what the fight with your daughter was about this week.
Undoubtedly, we are told when our children start school, they will meet new people. They will make friends. They may however grow up, change friends, change schools, and make new ones.
But as adults, the village you make when you start this ride together is one to keep. It is one you may not know you would get, or needed.
We have been there for each other in the back row of funerals, dropped medicines on doorsteps and delivered fish on Good Friday in lockdowns. We have celebrated new loves, new babies, new jobs. We have sat for hours on side lines, not watching school sport, but being there – getting our weekly fix of what we needed. Each other. The mums, the dads, the everyone.
So, this my letter to you all. Thank you. It just doesn’t seem enough.
Once we have left these school grounds, your name in my phone may just change from “Remy’s Mum” to “Belinda”.
p.s Year 1 Mum’s… ill bring my blanket next year and squish on in…