Friday, 24 September 2010

Harvest Festival: We Will Go Out With Joy

For the past few years I have been attending the Harvest Festival in a nearby village where my children go to pre-school and school. The pre-school are often invited, so since my daughter was 3 in 2005 I have found myself listening to "Autumn Days" and similar hymns, sung by children and teachers alike. This not only reminds me of my childhood, (they use the same hymn books: Come and Praise!) but also of the fact that I do like a good sing. But anyway...

From 2005 I have always had the child that is there with their pre-school or school, plus one other. A baby, who may or may not scream or want a feed at the most awkward time, or a toddler who is more interested in flicking the kneeler pads off the hooks in front of us.

This year I attended and two of my children sat with their school groups and the third one sat with the pre-school. I have waited for the day when I can just sit and watch them all. I've waited and longed for it. Yet now that the time has come, it really hit me that, for that half an hour at least, they no longer need me.

When I welled up in the church this morning, it was not only because I could see my son smiling as he sang, and I could see my daughter singing without skipping any words. It was also because a small part of my heart was breaking for the loss of those early days.


  1. This made me feel very emotional & brought back emotions from long ago (youngest son 24!)You have described the situation and feelings so beautifully and lovingly. Somehow you have captured the essence of motherhood.

  2. Hi Rebecca!

    What a lovely post - and it echoes something I was just saying to Maya: We were talking about how hard it is to be a night person when you have children. I admitted that I find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning because I usually have one or other (sometimes both) of the children with me. I love just lying there, listening to her breathe, feeling her snuggled up to me and kissing her sleeping cheek. I know these moments won't last, and I treasure each one of them.

    There will come a day when my children don't want to get in to bed with me, when they think they're too old, or realise that other kids their own age don't get into Mammy's bed. I dread the arrival of that day, but treasure the moments while they're still here.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking post.


  3. I know what you mean. Last school year I went to all the annual events at my older son's school. He was in the upper 6th and I was conscious at every one of them that this was the final time after years of attendance. A sad and happy thing at the same time.
    So much of these events have been related to music, as was yours here. ( I reflected on one musical event in my own blog at the time).