Today I almost had a lip wobbling moment on the school run.
Every night when I pick Billy up from school, I walk through the gates, I make my way to one of the benches and I sit and wait for him.
The playground is usually pretty quiet as parents pick up their other children from the infants school before coming over to juniors.
Today as I approached the school gates it was different.
The playground was a hive of activity. There were parents everywhere.
It took me a few seconds to work out why and then something I didn’t expect happened…….. I felt sad.
The parents stood in the playground were there to collect their children from their transition day. They were the parents I used to stand in the playground with, the parents from Isla’s old class, from when she attended mainstream school.
A couple spoke to me which was nice. They asked how Isla was doing with genuine interest and we made small talk. I couldn’t help but notice how awkward I felt, how indifferent, how strange. It was as if I’d never known them, as if that life was forever ago.
I watched all of the kids Isla used to go to school with run out of juniors, huge smiles on their faces, running up to their parents to tell them all about their day at ‘big school’.
I admit I felt a small pang of jealousy. I admit my stomach sank a little. I admit I felt sad.
It shocked me. I thought I was over it. Isla is in the best place for her, a school that’s amazing, full of people who love her exactly as she is. She’s engaged, she’s learning, she’s happy, it’s the most amazing school I’ve ever seen, what more could I want?
Nothing, I couldn’t want anything more and yet there I was with a tinge of sadness within me that had come out of nowhere.
I couldn’t help but wonder. I couldn’t help but imagine Isla running out of those very doors with her friends shouting all about her day.
In another life she’d have been there, in that class, in that school, with those children and I’d have been one of those mums stood in the playground discussing friendship groups and new teachers and play dates but but this isn’t another life and that wasn’t ever meant to be.
I was mad at myself for even thinking about it.
Isla isn’t those children, i’m not those mums, were not those families. That’s ok, that’s more than ok. Others may think we are imperfect but to me we are perfect and to us we have everything we ever wanted and more. We are happy, we are exactly as we are supposed to be on the path we are meant to be, sharing the journey we were destined to be on…….
and that’s more than ok.
But today I couldn’t stop myself from wondering ‘what if’ and as much as I’ve made peace with our life being different to the one I thought we’d have and as much as I love our life exactly as it is, it still stung for a moment.
Maybe a little part of me will always wonder ‘what if’.