My youngest kid turns 16 shortly and today he started a week of work experience organised through school. As I dropped him off around 6.50am and he walked unsurely to the door of his new world, I couldn't help feeling affected.
He is almost my height, super sensitive and socially awkward. There are no other kids around his age. I shouldn't call him a kid, should say a young man.
Nevertheless, the moment caught me off guard a little watching him walk off with a look or two over his shoulder, then disappearing behind that door. At this time, an employee walked past and said not to worry, the last work experience kid didn't want to leave. Was it that obvious? I was supposed to be giving off confidence and other good vibrations.
As I headed home I hoped his day was good, that he didn't stress out, feel too self-conscious, worry about mistakes; all those things that go to make up a first day at work.
It also reminded me of having to leave my eldest son when he was little. At a tough time in our lives and watching him cry through the fence at pre-school as I drove off, it remains a vivid image. He was fine soon after; I phoned.
Watching my little girl mix for the first few times with other kids at pre-school, also remains a vivid image. As she ran, hair bouncing, to play with other kids, I quietly looked though a window to make sure she looked happy, then left.
Time can pass quickly, but some memories remain fresh; a reminder of feelings then, and now.