Moms who make it to matric

Getting my child through high school was my very own “Groundhog Day” victory, writes Sue Peters as the matric year comes to an end.

Five years ago I wrote about my son’s first day at high school and in a couple of days it will be his last day of school.

Back then I struggled to let him go and I must admit I sometimes still do. But I have learnt a thing or two.

Walking a child through high school is not only about learning and growing for your child; it’s for the parents also!

In these past five years, I have dropped him and picked him up from school about 2500 times and waiting for him in the parking lot has gradually taught me some much needed lessons.

You don’t understand? Perhaps this will help. I once watched an American movie called Groundhog Day – a comedy starring Bill Murray as Phil, a weatherman who is out to cover the annual emergence of the groundhog from its hole.

Phil gets caught in a storm that he didn’t predict and finds himself trapped in a time-warp in which he is doomed to relive the same day over and over again until he gets it right. But in order to “get it right” he has to re-examine his life and priorities.

Critics say that Bill Murray shines in this good-natured comedy that delivers lots of laughs and some honest sentiment.

Yes that just about sums up my past five years. Because for the past five years it seems that I have “covered” the daily emergence of my son from his room in order for me to drive him to school.

Like Phil, I seemed to get caught in a storm I couldn’t have predicted except I call it the “teenage storm” and I seemed to be stuck in a time-warp of my own.

I have lived day after day during high school trying to “get it right” and finally learnt that my attitude towards my son and others around me is crucially important.

Just like Phil, I ended up re-examining my life and my priorities several times and I have noticed that “freedom” or the right to “move on” seems to be obtained by mastering negativity and adapting a more positive thinking.

High school, like the movie Groundhog Day, can be a good-natured comedy with lots of laughs but it certainly also produces some honest and profound sentiments.

The teen years are not over yet and neither of us has passed all the tests that were presented to us 100% but we have both grown up.

Today the clock will turn over one more time as it did in the movie and both you and I will go free, we will move on, hopefully remembering all we have learnt, not only the math and the science but also the way we ought to relate to and support each other.

Soon you are leaving high school for the last time and I wish you and every other child that is leaving with you that your path will be full of hope and mystery and that you conquer your future victoriously! I am proud to be your mom!

PS – Two months from now it will be his sister’s first day at high school and this time I will know what to expect . . . thanks to him and other moms who have encouraged me. It will now be my honour to encourage other “first time” moms.

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