You have been excited for weeks, but only in the last few days have you started counting sleeps. It seems this is an event bigger than Christmas and your tiny little face lights up with stars every time we discuss starting ‘big school.’
You have tried on your uniform time and time again, solemnly put your tiaras to one side, replacing them with plaid headbands in preparation. Your sparkly shoes with tiny heels now have to live in the car, so you can change when the end of day bell rings.
You are ready, so, so ready.
But I am not my beautiful little girl, you see for me, it was only moments ago that you were born. I held you, this immaculate creation of mine, soft and pink against my breast. I fed you, washed you, adored you for days without paying a care to the rest of the world. You found your spot in my heart and it has grown filling me with joy from the inside out.
We have played all manner of silly games in the last few years. I am the mummy, sometimes I play the baby, often I am shopkeeper who plays too much on their phone. Maybe I should have put it down more if I had realised how quickly time was going to pass. Probably not, because watching you mimic me, typing on an imaginary screen, talking ‘work’ on a plastic phone and doing air squats in the lounge makes me realise that I am what you think a mother should be, strong, frantic, but always with time for hugs.
And that’s ok with me.
But today I have wanted to slow down the clock, to silence the ticking. I don’t want to share you with school, whilst I passionately delight in seeing you grow. I want to give you wings, give you the foundations to see the world and find happiness in every corner. Yet, I also want to hold you tight a moment longer before you move onto the stage of your life.
I will miss you on Monday when we would go to the gym then cavort in the local soft play. I will have to count out the fruit on my own on Wednesdays when I go get our weekly shop. Thursday’s tea and treat will be tedious alone and my weekly tidy up will be cleaner but not half as much fun without you sweeping glitter onto the floor behind me.
You won’t even know I am not there. You will be playing, learning, singing, jumping, having a bundle of fun which doesn’t need mum. You have practised your ‘will you be my friend smile’ until your cheeks ache, and I have no doubt that you will come home tomorrow with an armful of stories and a sackful of best buddies.
It is now that you start to learn to fly, that you make those first steps away from the nest. My heart may be sore but I will give you a nudge if you need it.
Because you are ready, and it is time for me to learn to let go.
Until 3.15, when our playtime starts all over again.
Have an exciting first day at school my munchkin.