Like many mothers at this time of year I watched my child close not only a page of his life story but a whole chapter. Mini Son has just left primary and is about to launch himself into all the new and exciting adventures Secondary School will throw his way. Having spent the last 15 years involved in the primary system it will seem strange next September to have no children in the closeted cocoon of primary education. The silent salty tears I shed at his leavers performance were for the loss of a way of life as well as the harsh reality of losing a little more of my youngest child to the wider world.
As Mini Son transforms from baby to young man he will flourish as he embarks on the new events, activities and opportunities he will be offered. He has pages of his own life to fill with stories, memories and photos. He has adventures and dangers to explore and conquer learning not only the lessons from education but the more important lessons in life. In truth his story will take him further and further from my own as he grows with stature and confidence.
Watching my youngest stand with his classmates and say their emotional farewells to the place they arrived scared, shy students only 7 short years ago, my tears tumbled in memory of those scary September mornings leaving him with his new teacher. I remembered trips, competitions and the friends that have come and gone and those who are moving up with him to new adventures. Remembered too, the committees and fundraising that swallowed so many of my evenings. Finally the tears fell freely with the fear of the future and how the next chapter will write itself.
My own life has been woven inextricably with that of my children in a trilogy that can never be separated. Now my children are marking their own independent pages should I too turn the page, start my own adventure, return to the tantalising inviting sheets of my life story to create and continue my own journey.
With the closing of one chapter a new one begins, quests and exploits bring opportunities that may have been passed up before. I can now grasp them with both hands and fuse them onto the pages of my life. Shedding tears are as cathartic as shedding the chrysalis of motherhood and re-emerging as a person with my own story to write.
Moving on may be enhanced by my holiday. I am attending https://www.swanwickwritersschool.co.uk/ this summer for a week of writing, inspiration and independence. I will listen intently to those who have been where I am now and taken their writing further. I hope to attend workshops to fine tune my creativity and direct me to the next phase in my journey to publishing. I will network amid fellow writers, editors and publishers to find out how, where and what the next step will be.
My family will be not many miles away sailing and camping as I take my first foray into my future.
On that very note, I have had feedback from my friendly barrister and at the beginning of her comments she says “I read your novel really quickly, and thoroughly enjoyed it”.
There were a couple of major legal inaccuracies but she has guided me on how those would happen in a real family court, which now leaves lots of work to do over the summer to create a new character and weave them into the story.
She also picked up on a line of story I was unhappy about and wondered like me if it lost some credibility. I feel comfortable now that my instinct had basis and am changing and developing the storyline without it. Was she the catalyst to galvanise me back into edit mode?
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