Alex made the move to secondary school a couple of years ago, and doesn’t come home for lunch any more. With me working mostly from, Fiona and I have developed our own private lunchtime routines and patterns. This is Fiona’s last week at primary school, so that time is coming to an end now, and I’ll miss it.
The way it ususally works is that Fiona walks in the door around 12:15, and shouts “I’m home” up the stairs. Then I go downstairs, give her a hug, and we have a chat about how the morning went. I make her a sandwich, and fix myself something to eat. Fiona eats at the table, watching videos on her iPad, while I take my lunch upstairs and eat at my desk and work some more.
At 12:50 she calls upstairs, “I’m leaving”.
“I’ll miss you,” I reply, and come downstairs with any plates and cups I’ve accumulated. I drop them in the kitchen while Fiona heads for the door. I give her a hug, and ask if there is going to be anything interesting at school in the afternoon; sometimes there is.
I wait for her at the door while she heads round the side of the house to get her bike. She wheels it around to the front door, and leans in so I can give her another hug and a kiss on the top of her head. Then she jumps up onto the saddle, and starts her ride.
“Sleep well,” I say.
“I’m not going to sleep during school!” she calls back, in a tone of fake annoyance.
I stand at the door, and watch her cycle away until she’s out of sight. A couple of months ago we got her a full-size bike for the move to high school, and she could only just reach the pedals. Now it looks perfectly normal.
So grown up.