Happy Fathers' Day to all the dads out there. My own is a truly wonderful chap and I'm very lucky to have him as a father. I probably appreciate this all the more because I remember the night of his plane crash (so many years ago) so clearly. R is a fab dad with four great sons and has a mantlepiece filled with amusing and thoughtful cards.
On Friday evening I went to J's Leavers' Mass, and for some reason expected it to be the usual school event (sort of like a Parents' Evening). Obviously I hadn't grasped the true meaning behind it, and it was whilst we were in the church and the service began that I realized (call me slow) that this was it. J was no longer at school. He has been at the same school for the past fourteen years, and I can clearly remember the initial interview - where he knocked off various bits and pieces from the headmaster's desk and I was mortified - through the years where despite his parents divorcing, moving home a couple of times and various other trials of life, the school, it's teachers and his friends have been a constant area of support both to him as a pupil, and to me, knowing that he had these people around him.
I had to concentrate on not getting too emotional during the service, and managed it for the most part (the vanity of not wanting to have red eyes, and knowing I'd have to speak to people after the service helped). Then it was up to the school gym for a buffet, speeches (so funny), photos of the boys on a large screen and their comments (again, hilarious), and then presentations where each pupil received a silver plaque commemorating being in the Class of 2009. I ended up having a wonderful evening, filled with laughter and catching up with other parents I've known for years. I then returned home to S and the television, and J went off with his friends to have fun.
Sigh. My boy has grown up. I can't help getting choked by the thought that the past fourteen years has gone by so fast, too fast. When did that happen? In September he's off to Uni (assuming his grades are what he hopes they will be) and I'll have to get used to not seeing him for weeks at a time.
Right, that's enough feeling sorry for myself. I'm off to make a cup of tea and carry on reading Molly's Millions. It's wonderful.