This year is full of lasts for our family, with our youngest in his last year at school. It is strange to think I will no longer have a child at school, considering my first child started school in 2004, that is eighteen years of school drop-offs, pick-ups, packed lunches, canteen duty, class mum duties, school events and best of all sitting on the sideline watching the children compete.
I remember feeling sad when my first child left school, but I had another two children (and six years of school fees to get through), but now as I write this, we literally have weeks to go before I no longer have the title as “school mum”. My identity as a school parent, border mum, and parent volunteer has now come to its end, and our new journey will soon start as a mother of three young adults – eek! that makes me sound so old.
I can only imagine how he must feel, knowing how I feel as my journey ends and a new route is about to begin. I can’t even imagine how many times I sat by the side of a pool, a rugby pitch, a basketball court (and the list goes on and on) in the past eighteen years. I have watched these kids play in so many different countries, for so many different teams in so many different sports. However, rugby will always hold a special place in my heart.
It is where our family has bonded over the years; it is where we have celebrated victories, grieved losses and disputed decisions by the referee. We have discussed many games, whether in the back of the car on the way home from the game, over the phone while watching it online or by the side of the rugby pitch.
We as a family have gone through a lot in the past 18 years; through disappointment and victories, we have learned a lot about ourselves and how we react in both situations. I have sat holding my breath when a child has been concussed or injured, and I can tell you first hand we have had our fair share.
As a mother, I have cried in joy over the pure excitement the game has given each child and equally cried when injury or a loss has seen more pain than a mother can wish for in a child. But I wouldn’t take any of it back because it has taught me so many lessons along the way, and it has seen my children show compassion to others in sadness; it has taught them what teamwork and camaraderie is all about, and most of all they have walked away from the sport knowing what “good sportsmanship” looks like.
To say I am sad is an understatement, the very last time I get to witness my child running onto a school rugby pitch, with their siblings on the sideline as their number one supporters, is probably what makes me most proud right now.
So to all the other mothers out there, feeling the same way I do, experiencing their last game of school sport, you need to know we are all in this together. All those early morning drop-offs or late night pick-ups, trips to the closest hospital’s emergency ward, and hours sat watching in all types of weather, we have all done it and are all about to see the end of a fabulous journey.
So to all the gorgeous mothers, I have met along the way, the ones serving in the canteen, washing the uniforms, managing and coaching the team or doing the training or game run, I want to thank you personally because, without you, my children would not have been able to experience these great rugby communities and what it means to come together for a common goal.
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