So, my wingman flew away on Monday.
There seemed so little build up in his world for this day. At least to my knowing. Even though there was a truck load of planning for it in mine.
I asked all 3 small folk on the train back from Melbourne, “Last week of January. Is there anything else you wanted to do before the end of the holidays?”
“What happens at the end of the holidays?” my wingman asked
Are you kidding me? “You go to school mate.” And with that he turned and looked back out the window. Attending again to the fast moving summer dryness. Giving me nothing as to what was being processed in his little world. I don’t even think he blinked his eyes.
I couldn’t stop blinking mine.
It’s hard to know what goes on in a smalls’ headspace. In fact anyone’s headspace at that. A woeful summer of westerly winds meaning less beach time – more home time. Giving a solidarity to my crew in a way I could never have dreamed.
They actually played together instead of eating each other. No bloodshed. No tantrums. No broken door handles. They enjoyed each other’s space. They shared in each other’s games.
For 6 weeks. Solid. A new thing in our household.
Cementing, in my mind, my wingman shifting away. Moving from being the small one – to being one of them.
And less of me.
There was great fanfare on Sunday night. Nana and Poppy for a sleepover. Messages of love from Opa and Rosie. I had a decent camera for the first time in my life – and made sure the battery was charged. My wingman fell into his dreams with his uniform and schoolbag on the end of his bed. Listening to Spiderbait.
We drank red wine on the lounge room floor.
He was first in his uniform in the morning. Refusing underwear or socks, he walked out in front. His power in his belly shining up through his heart, a mop of red curls standing taller than I’d ever seen. He held my hand as we walked to his classroom. And upon seeing his mate, he let go of me. My wingman reached for the hand of his friend. He held it firm. And I heard him say,
We’ll be right.”
And without looking back, without really saying goodbye, my wingman walked forwards. And away.
Leaving me standing still at the door. A little part of me kinda hollow inside.
Think agni sara, backbending inversions and trataka.
Every emotion we feel is preceded by the thought that determines it. As I watched my wingman step away from me and into himself, I thought about nothing except my loss. The empty space on my right hand side where my youngest red used to stand. The lingering warmth left in the palm of my hand – holding the memory of his life force that used to be so entwined with mine. The brush of freckles beneath is wide blue eyes that used to be the first thing I would see when I searched his face for meaning.
Instead of seeing his 5 year old pride. His preppy openness. The excitement of his new adventure. The embracing of his new beginning. The acceptance of letting go of what was, to allow for what is. Something he has been internally processing for the whole westerly summer. Something he has been feeling, in the build up to placing his sockless feet into the ground of this experience.
Holding his place in the moment. This moment. His moment.
At the school assembly on Friday – the first for this new round of preps, my youngest lad won a “you can do it award.” Upon reading his name, his chest stood up before his red curls. He marched right up to the principal in front of 400 kids. Not a common practice for a friday afternoon. Usually one stands, one is clapped in recognition of one’s efforts, and then one sits back down. Upon marching to the the principal, my freckled blue eyed boy bowed to him before shaking his congratulating hand. There was whispering between my young prep and the big man in the suit as the rest of the school laughed.
They both smiled.
I asked my new prep want the the principal had said to him. When the school was giggling with them. When everyone was whispering to me what a character he was. How confident he was. When my eyes were full of unshed tears and my heart so full of pride.
“He told me to go and sit down.”
So he did.
And so did I.