There’s something about a good pop song that can bring tears to your eyes. And no one does the bringing tears to your eyes thing better than Abba. I defy anyone with a heart to listen to that break in Agnetha’s voice in The Winner Takes It All in the last verse not to choke up- even a little bit.
Go on- have a listen. It’s the part where she sings (her Swedish accent getting stronger as the emotion builds):
I don’t want to talk- if it makes you feel bad
And I understand…you’ve come (insert break in voice here) to shake (another mini break) my hand.
I’m welling a little as I type.
Then there’s the everyday suburban normalcy of One Man One Woman– this time with the more grown up Frida as lead.
The one that keeps coming up for me this week, though- and this is for the confessional link-up, so I’m sure my secret is safe with you- is Slipping Through My Fingers. It gives me goosebumps.
You see, Miss 17 is finishing school this week. What comes next? I have no idea- and that’s the scary bit. The even scarier bit is knowing that I have to let go and allow for it all to be. Sure, I can influence her- I’m a master at that- but gone is that certainty that between the hours of 8am-4.30pm I’ll know exactly where she is.
To date, it’s been about firsts- the first morning sickness spew, the first time I felt her move, the first smile, the first time she slept through the night (don’t hate me- she was just 5 weeks old), the first tooth, the first steps, first day at school, first day at high school.
Now those firsts are turning into lasts- the last ever first day of term, the last set of school fees (yes, that occasion was worth marking), the last school report. More than that, both the firsts and the lasts are taking her into territory where I can’t necessarily protect her anymore- instead I have to trust that she is as grounded as we think she is.
My husband reminded me that he had a full-time job and was paying rent out of home at 18 when his parents moved house.
‘That’s different,’ I said.
‘It just was.’
Then he reminded me that I was all set to move to Canberra to study at the same age she is now.
‘That’s different,’ I said.
‘It just was. Besides, I didn’t go.’
It’s true- I didn’t. I got accepted into an economics degree at Sydney University and stayed at home. Besides- I was the eldest of four- Mum would have been too busy to miss me too much.
The thing is, I’ve always had a good relationship with my daughter and consider myself very lucky that we’ve done so much together, that we do so much together and that she still enjoys doing things with me- but that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel her slipping away- even though I know logically that she isn’t. What’s slipping away is my (perceived) control.
She got her driver’s licence last week, so now she’s off on her own- mostly in my car. That’s cool- it’s about her gaining her independence little by little…but if I said I didn’t worry, I’d be lying.
Having said that, I’m prouder than I can say of the young woman she’s becoming, and excited beyond words at the possibilities that await her.
It doesn’t, however, mean that I won’t shed just as many tears at graduation on Friday morning as I did on that first day in February 2003.
Linking up for I Must Confess with My Home Truths…