Smallest and loudest was dropped off at school by me, middle and tallest was dropped off near school by Dad, leaving firstborn at home with the dog.
Normally in the absence of parent and owner I would expect a two pronged attack, along the lines of a pincer movement locust fest, in the kitchen cupboards but not today for some reason. I’m thinking the dog was feeling a bit tired after his impromptu hour long midnight stroll and Loops was just muddling through the morning in a torrent of mixed emotions prior to the GCSE, but showing no nerves.
During a cursory breakfast stock check and fridge inventory I saw there wasn’t much milk, but there was enough for 2 bowls of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes. Only there wasn’t a visible box of Crunchy Nut Cornfkakes. I muttered. Loops stood up and calmly said that there was another box lying on its side and it was a new box. Ahhhhhh phew. Saved by a child. I duly poured 2 bowls of cereal and milk and we settled down to eat breakfast.
I said I couldn’t remember the last time we had sat down and had breakfast – just us two, then looked at her and felt an immense rush of pride and love. This beautiful girl sitting across the table from me was not only having breakfast with me but was talking quite naturally without any kind of angst barrier, parent targeted annoyance or exam nerves. It was like way back when, in the time before her sisters were born. The teenage years are interesting and I’ve written about them before but today was a different kind of experience. For me it was exam nerves by proxy.
For 15 years I’ve watched over my firstborn. I’ve watched her smile in her sleep as a baby, gurgle with pleasure at something as a toddler, concentrate as she painted a misshapen something that of course looked like a cat (oh it’s not a cat it’s a house!) to her first days at nursery, then school and through to today on the day that she sits her first GCSE. In all those years I’ve felt every emotion and watched in wonder as she grew into the lovely girl she is today (tomorrow we might fall out over the dishwasher but let’s not worry about that traffic jam until travel time).
She’s in her exam now and I’ve been thinking of her loads, as much as I want to I can’t do it for her. This is something she has to do herself and quite possibly the first massive big thing she will have to do by herself.
As we sat in the kitchen eating our breakfast I reminded her that whatever happens in her life she will always be my firstborn and she smiled at me.
She probably thought “nutter” but she didn’t say it.