Karolien – There's Life After Kids

#Mauritius - Doing The Expat Thing

The first step – Karolien-There’s Life After Kids

Today I’ve given the first step to “Life after kids”.

This whole past week I’ve been mulling over writing a blog about today. About my little girl who is now not so little anymore all of a sudden. My little girl that had her last school day today and won’t be returning to school alongside her brother next term.

All week my mind has been numb, we’ve been supporting the girlchild in every which way to help her get through this week unscathed and with all her schoolwork completed, tests written and books handed in. What a week! A week in which she was excused from her chores in order to give her time to work at the crazy deadline she’s chosen to impose on herself. A week in which the X-man was a bit grumpy every now and then (understandably so) as he had to shoulder extra chores but a week in which his brotherly love and care came to the forefront once again as he made his big sister tea when she needed it. Helped her out with simple tasks to give her a break. Supporting her wherever he can.

As I was preparing for the girlchild’s last school day and her valedictory service this morning so much went through my mind. A lot of which I cannot even recall right now. I am a mom that is feeling emotionally drained after this last final day. I was sad this morning and I still am. Hubby could not make the ceremony today as he had to take the boat out to sea for another two week trip working offshore and being based in Mauritius

What he missed today is something that I’ll never be able to relay in words and photos and videos cannot ever do it justice but it will have to do. I can just say that there is nothing that can prepare one for the day your child leaves school. Especially when it’s the first one.

Being in an ACE school whenever a pupil leaves they have a valedictory service to end of their school career to pay tribute to the pupil and to say goodbye.  It is most probably one of the most special things I have ever experienced.

Sitting there yesterday watching a poignant overview of the girlchild’s last almost four years, some of her lows and all of her highs. Sitting there listening to all the beautiful things being said about and to my child with the tears streaming down my cheeks.

This was the moment we’ve been preparing for for 18 years and I knew for the last few months, weeks and days that it was imminent. That last day of school. The last test written and handed in, the last goodbye said. Still I felt flattened by a wave yesterday as I drove home and dove into my bed, hiding my tears in my pillows and pulling the blankets over my head. Staying there for the better part of the afternoon. Not ready to face reality.

Because reality says you should be ready for this, you raised your child for 18 years. These moments are the culmination of those 18 years worth of hard work, sweat and tears. But my reality is that I am not ready. Nowhere did I agree that I am remotely ready to have my child leave my house and me for greener pastures whether it be to study at uni or getting a job. As much as one knows that this moment is approaching so little is there that one can do to stop it I have now realized.

I know some of you might have a different outlook and might say ‘one down, one to go!’ or ‘Thank heavens this part is over” but that’s the beauty of life. We all experience things differently and deal with it in our own way. This is the first step of MYnew journey and as I look this hauntingly beautiful soul whom I get to call my daughter, this not only beautiful on the outside but stunningly beautiful from the inside out creature. This person that is getting ready to take flight, this young adult that is jumping through the hoops to take life by storm. As I look at her I realize. It’s time. I’ve got to let go. Whether I’m ready or not. It’s time.

Blessed am I to have another child for a little while before having to undergo this same painful process however I cannot promise I’ll be any more ready than I am now.

In the meantime. Life goes on.

“If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. If they don’t, they never were.”

― Kahlil Gibran

For now I will endeavor to learn to let go, one second at a time, one minute at a time, one day at a time, one week at a time. With a little bit of faith, some support from my friends and family and the occasional glass of wine I might just get there eventually. After all; “there is life after kids” and I am planning to live mine to the fullest, knowing that they are still there on the sidelines living there own lives but still very much part of mine.

from cute 6 year old to stunning 18 year old and not just my daughter but my friend and confidante. <3




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