This is not really cattle related but hey “this is my website, and I’ll write if I want to, write if I want to, write if I want to. You would write too if it happened to you.” ? (All sung in my head to the very catchy “It’s my Party” tune.)

So it is very early on a Friday morning and well today our Daughter finishes school for good. Thirteen years done and dusted and to say I am feeling emotional about it is an understatement. I feel excited, sad, anxious, teary and elated. If I am totally honest, the feeling I am feeling most is under qualified. I have been a parent for just over 18 years, our daughter is our eldest and with four kids I’ve seen and done a lot in parenting. The status quo of the past four years has been all four kids at school and our routine has revolved around that. I know how it works, I know the pitfalls and the good bits. Every day brings something a little different to the table but essentially it is the same (mostly good) shit, different day. Now I am facing a whole new world of having a school leaver in the house or an even scarier thought, out of the house. Yes there are HSC exams to get through……….exams we have done before so no stress there. Well, stress we will manage anyway.

It’s the unknown that gets me. It’s the “What does this look like?” “What’s going to be my new routine?” “What’s going to be my new role in her life?” “What will my days be like now?” “How do I parent an adult?” “How do I get through today without being an absolute blubbering mess?”All good questions with no immediate answers.

I have complete faith and trust in our Daughter to make the best possible choices for herself. She has proved she has the ability to do that time and time again. She astounds me with her level head, compassion and sassiness. She is an emotionally intelligent, responsible, caring, funny, honest human. She knows how to work, she knows how to play, she knows how to do people and she knows how to live the game of life. Her future is in good hands.

It’s me that I am anxious for. I’ve never done this bit of parenting before and as happens regularly in parenting, all of a sudden, I feel like a novice. You know that feeling just when you think you are all over this parenting stuff and one child or another comes up with a new and miraculous “stage” that is completely different and for months you think “This is interesting, never had to deal with this before. How are we gonna play this one?” Yep, a novice with 18 years’ experience.

And so, I will trust. Trust that I will fall into this new normal, like I have fallen into all the other new normals. I will enjoy every moment of today and the days I have with my adult daughter before she goes off to live her big life. I will hold her hand when she needs me to and I will let her go.

To all of the school leavers we wish you all the very best for this exciting and a little scary new chapter of your life. For the ones we know personally it has been a privilege getting to know you and having you help out at sales and shows. I feel very confident in this group of kids moving onto the next stage of their lives. They are ready and the world is in good hands.

Right, where are those tissues………