Wednesday, April 17, 2024
HomeLaura PerrinsLaura Perrins: The empty nest syndrome can strike early. Daughter Annabelle is...

Laura Perrins: The empty nest syndrome can strike early. Daughter Annabelle is leaving home at aged four


So far I have had only two ‘crying episodes’ at the thought of my first child, and eldest daughter, going to school. And this is before she has even started school. While chatting happily to hubby over the holidays, the thought of dropping her off to school at 9 am only to pick her up at 3pm became too much. But I did swiftly pull myself together.

It is rather odd in many ways as this will not be the first time I am separated from my daughter but it has never been for the school day and five days a week. She has attended playgroups, and school nursery last year, but this is different. This is “all day” every day – without me. I am not responsible for her for those hours, someone else is – her teacher and her school.

We are all very excited about the transition to new ‘big school.’ There has already been a full uniform trying-on performance. My daughter, who is very outgoing, loved nursery and her teacher and I know she will enjoy school. But I will miss her – greatly.

When I ask her “but what will I do without you’ she assures me that she will ‘be home soon’. She also, strangely, assured me that when she grows up and gets married she will come and visit papa and me every day. We are currently trying to extricate a promise from her that she will pay for lunch also.

The truth is my daughter has been a great companion to me over these last four year. Ok, for the first year she did not say much, but it was a privilege to care for her every day. Sure, we had our moments – I am not denying that. But as is the case with parental glasses, they are very rose tinted.

My daughter has been a great little helper around the house, a lovely companion when having coffee and nearly always enjoyed whatever activity I had planned. I know she appreciates me being there for her, so caring for her is not a sacrifice to me. It was a gift.

When her brother came along she was delighted and as they have grown together it is wonderful seeing them play so much with each other and become good friends. They fight of course – there are plenty of rows and tantrums – but it is worth it for the times I see them making up there own games together. Apart from the game that involves removing all the cushions from the couch and using them as a ‘bouncy castle’. I could probably do without that one.

So I will certainly miss my daughter when I drop her off for her first day at big school. I may well be the sad blubbering mother in the corner. I know her little brother will miss her also, as he often asked “where is Annabelle” when she was at nursery, and demanded to ‘pick her up.’

Ultimately I know my daughter is in good hands and will be very happy in her school and for this I am very greatful. As a parent, you cannot ask for much more than that. This transition marks the end of a very joyful time.

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