The final parents’ evening

Milestones are so important when you children are small.  You count them up and show them off as much as possible and then as your children start to get older, the milestones seem to become less significant. There are less of them and maybe life just gets too busy and as parents we don’t have the time to give them as much thought. They are still there though from the teeth falling out to first trips away without parents, they just don’t shout as loud as those all important early years milestones that we anxiously await.

This week was the final parents’ evening for the teen before he takes his A levels. One of those milestones.  The final time I would be going into his school. The final chat with his teachers before he goes out into the world to find his way.

That is a milestone.  A huge milestone and one that hadn’t really dawned on me until I was there.

It was more subdued and less frantic than the others had been.  Parents were huddled together talking quietly to each other, sharing memories and stories.  The phrase “where has the time gone?” endlessly uttered with a shake of the head.  It was a celebration of what our children had achieved and what they had become and a realisation that an era was ending and we were starting to lose that brief insight into the lives of our children and the element of control that came with it.  For many it was all the more significant as this was their youngest child.  I have many more parents’ evenings with my other children to come, but I was still shaking my head along with them.

Looking at my grown up, independent eighteen year old son makes me so proud. I had a huge part in creating him and moulding him into the amazing young man he has become. But it also makes me feel overwhelmingly sad. Sad in a way that it is difficult to explain but I feel like he has moved on. He isn’t my little boy anymore. I have very little influence or sway over his decisions and actions. He very much does his own thing.

Of course that is a good thing. I have always encouraged him to be independent, to try things for himself, to take responsibility for his actions.   I didn’t want him to be following me around in his twenties, dependent on me for everything. I have seen too many cases of this over the years and I think that it is far better to make your children see the value of independence and to do things for themselves from a young age.

But the offset of that is that they reach this point and they don’t always need you anymore.  They make their own decisions and they do their own things.  They have lives that you can occasionally glimpse into when they talk to you, but it is often a quick glimpse and it is gone.

So as we prepare for the next chapter, there is talk of travel and voluntary work and then university, it feels like a limb is slowly being torn away.  He will always be my son but my baby has gone and grown up.

The final parents evening

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44 Comments

  1. May 6, 2014 / 8:11 am

    Sending huge hugs! Completely understand, my baby girl is at the same point! He sounds like an amazing person and a credit to you as a mummy! x x
    Mary Keynko recently posted…The one with the car indicatorsMy Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      May 7, 2014 / 10:33 am

      Thank you

  2. May 6, 2014 / 9:09 am

    That will be me in a few years! It’s such a cliche, where has the time gone, but it’s so true. x

    • Nikki Thomas
      May 7, 2014 / 10:32 am

      It is, it flies by too quickly

  3. May 6, 2014 / 9:12 am

    Oh man… *wipes eyes* I cannot even begin to imagine how you must feel, as I’m still in the everything is a huge deal / let’s make a big fuss bit. But you’ve done it missus, you’ve done so well and he really seems like a total credit to you – and that’s a MASSIVE deal. Lots of love xx
    MummyNeverSleeps recently posted…All the Small Things #10My Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      May 7, 2014 / 10:32 am

      Thank you x

  4. May 6, 2014 / 9:16 am

    Blimey emotional indeed just sending me too off to school felt lilkr losing part of me. Hugs x

    • Nikki Thomas
      May 7, 2014 / 10:32 am

      Thank you, yes I have my baby starting school in September too so I am going to be an emotional wreck this summer

  5. May 6, 2014 / 9:22 am

    Awww Nikki, I just can’t imagine what it must feel like. Huge, huge hugs to you. xxx
    Emma recently posted…Living Arrows 18/52My Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      May 7, 2014 / 10:31 am

      Thank you

  6. Mum of One
    May 6, 2014 / 9:39 am

    Oh man you have made me all weepy! Beautiful post. You should be very proud of having done such an awesome job, and I am sure he does still need you really x
    Mum of One recently posted…Dinosaur Roar!My Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      May 7, 2014 / 10:31 am

      Thank you *passes tissues*

  7. May 6, 2014 / 9:51 am

    Aww! Such an emotional post…
    We’re waiting for the last parents evening for my eldest at Primary school….Dreading it and her going to secondary school!
    Hugs to you x
    Kim Carberry recently posted…Air Wick Freshmatic Max – Review!!My Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      May 7, 2014 / 10:30 am

      I have that too this year as my ten year old goes up to middle school, I will be a wreck at the end of this term

  8. May 6, 2014 / 9:52 am

    Isn’t it hard! I am so relieved that Betsy changing course last September has brought me another year before I reach this point. The sight of the UCAS handbook makes me well up already!
    Sonya Cisco recently posted…All The Small Things – Jelly and PooMy Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      May 7, 2014 / 10:30 am

      It is tricky isn’t it because you want them to move on and do lots of amazing things with their lives but at the same time, you don’t want to lose them

  9. May 6, 2014 / 9:56 am

    Oohh had a little weep over this as well. I have years before this happens to us, but my god, they grow up fast don’t they?!

    I still remember my own parents evenings as clear as if they were last week. Mental.
    Steph (@imcountingufoz) recently posted…Ceviche Inspired Fish TacosMy Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      May 7, 2014 / 10:26 am

      Oh bless you, it does go far too quickly!

  10. May 6, 2014 / 10:29 am

    Big hugs from somebody who is in EXACTLY the same boat.

    • Nikki Thomas
      May 7, 2014 / 10:25 am

      Thank you x

    • Nikki Thomas
      May 7, 2014 / 10:25 am

      It’s a funny feeling when they get to this age isn’t it?

  11. May 6, 2014 / 12:03 pm

    Oh goodness I can’t begin to imagine how this feels. I was distraught when my baby started school, Lord knows what I’ll be like when she finishes.

    Hugs to you. x
    Liz Burton recently posted…Turn your journey into an adventureMy Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      May 7, 2014 / 10:25 am

      I have that to come this year too as A starts school in September and she is the last one. I will have an emotional summer.

    • Nikki Thomas
      May 7, 2014 / 10:24 am

      Thank you

  12. May 6, 2014 / 6:08 pm

    What a lovely post, it had me misty eyed. I’m closer to being the one having the last parents evening (7 years ago) than my boy having his (he is only 7 months old!) but I can already imagine your pain. I know growing up is just a normal part of life, but I feel sorry that my parents that they don’t get to see me and be part of my life everyday anymore. I already dread not having Diggory about everyday! Sending love xx
    Saskia (Songs, Silliness and Such) recently posted…How Time Flies… 7 Month UpdateMy Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      May 7, 2014 / 9:57 am

      Thank you, you do have a long while yet before you have to worry about it, but yes I think you can appreciate how hard it is for your own parents when you are a parent yourself

    • Nikki Thomas
      May 7, 2014 / 9:56 am

      I agree, a support group sounds like a wonderful idea.

  13. May 6, 2014 / 9:07 pm

    I can say that passed that milestone there is a lot more exciting things to look forward to, my son is 26 now and still brings me so much joy and reasons to be proud. Keep looking forward and everything will be fine
    Mari recently posted…Where to go for holiday ideas – Superbreak appMy Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      May 7, 2014 / 9:55 am

      Thank you Mari, it is nice to have a comment from the other perspective. They are always your children and I’m sue when you have grandchildren that must be the most amazing thing.

    • Nikki Thomas
      May 7, 2014 / 9:55 am

      I don’t know, but they do.

  14. May 6, 2014 / 11:45 pm

    Oh goodness what a lovely post, but what an emotional time for you. I can’t even begin to imagine my little boy reaching that age. The fact that yours has so many exciting plans for after his A-levels is such a testament to what a wonderful job you’ve done as a mum. Huge hugs xx
    Ruth recently posted…Internships: just for the young?My Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      May 7, 2014 / 9:54 am

      Thank you, I am very proud of him even if he is a bit grumpy at times.

  15. May 7, 2014 / 4:46 am

    I can’t even imagine how i ill feel when my girls will be at the age of your boy. Must be very emotional for you and very exciting for him at the moment. He probably can’t wait to explore the world and new things.
    otilia recently posted…Monday is the Parenting Pin-It Party Day!My Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      May 7, 2014 / 9:54 am

      Yes he is very excited about next year and although I will miss him, I want him t go off and make the most of it.

  16. May 7, 2014 / 5:50 am

    Gosh, makes me think back to being at all those sixth form parents’ evenings as a teacher, really moving to read a parent’s account. Hmmm, not sure I would be able to hold it together, I cried when they left nursery – not cool to cry at parent’s evening though. The plans sounds fab though, what an adventure ahead, sending strength x
    Penny A Residence recently posted…Our Family Caravan – Inside and OutMy Profile

  17. May 7, 2014 / 6:39 am

    Huge hugs.

    We’re just starting at the other end of this journey with my daughter going to reception in September, but I’m really starting to realise just how fleeting childhood is. That baby has long gone. The toddler years are over and pre-school is drawn to a close. At times as I’ve sat there surrounded by two screaming children I’ve wished time would pass more quickly, but then you sit back and realise that it’s actually flying by. Savour it whilst you can. x
    Penny Carr recently posted…Dinosaur Roar! – the app versionMy Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      May 7, 2014 / 9:53 am

      I agree Penny, it is so easy to wish your life away when they are little but I think having an older one has made me appreciate the little ones even more

  18. May 7, 2014 / 6:07 pm

    much better to have them growing up to be confident self assured individuals than molly coddle them to much. well done on the job of raising him to be somebody you are proud off. Give him a few years and he will be a friend you can take to the pub for a drink or hod a proper adult conversation with.

  19. May 9, 2014 / 5:23 am

    What a moving post. It must feel so strange. I know that, even at 12, my son is becoming very independent (in wanting to do things on his own, not in remembering to look after himself!) so I’m sure it will be the same for us in a few years.
    Here’s to the next chapter in his life and I hope he always finds time to go home to his mum! x
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…What she wore: floral trousersMy Profile

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