Hi, from Sophie.
This week, the youngest of my sons finished his last ever week at high school.
With my husband and I shepherding four boys through senior school, you would think that our overwhelming emotion would be relief.
But actually, it wasn't.
Instead, it was a week of mixed emotions: joy at seeing my son so fulfilled and energised with the deep friendships he has made and the intellectual stimulation he received through studying.
But there was more than a touch of sadness too with the thought that such a rewarding experience that was about to end.
And it got me thinking that as parents, how much our children can teach us, even though we are supposed to be teaching them.
This year, I immersed myself in my son's academic journey.
Not because he needed help or to be a helicopter parent.
Far from it.
But simply because the subjects he was taking, English and history are my favourite subjects too.
And re-reading old favourites like George Orwell's 1984 and re-immersing myself in the world of Albert Speer and Germany in World War II, rekindled my own love of learning.
And though it's been a while since my final year at high school, I am sure that the content and level of analysis in his last year of school is far more advanced than what we studied!
But the real value of sharing the academic journey with my son wasn't reveling in his satisfaction at getting good marks.
It was more about the importance of a shared, special experience.
The joy of boys :)
Particularly when it comes to having sons, I've found that the moments of closeness are not likely to be found in deep and meaningful conversations, though that can happen.
Instead, those special moments are much more likely to occur when you are both absorbed together, working alongside each other, and being in the moment together.
I remember when all the boys were younger, they would playing alongside each other, rather than playing with each other.
And over the last few months, whether it's crafting a speech or finessing the words for my son's final assembly, I've found giving my child my time and full attention, you appreciate each other in that moment.
By being fully present and mindful, you can sense it's something special that you are sharing.
And it made me recognise that to see your children grow and develop into young adults, even with some bumps along the way, is a journey you should cherish.
Because it really does fly by in a heart beat.
This week, I have savoured those moments that I could share with my son, and wished with all my heart that others, like my mother, who loved the kids as much as I do, was still alive to share it with us.
I think what I realised or what it reinforced was that real happiness is found living a meaningful life.
And that feeling of contributing to something outside yourself is what really matters, whether it's supporting your child through school or giving to those around you in other ways.
And it has reminded me that while being a parent is one of the hardest jobs we can do, it is also one of the most rewarding.
How has your own life been enriched by those around you? Love to read your comments.
For more on my take on happiness, read Roadtesting Happiness. http://www.sophiescott.com.au/store/c1/Featured_Products.html
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