She has been counting the sleeps like it is Christmas. Each night before sleep finally overwhelms her she as double checked her numbers with me, firstly asking if it is four sleeps, then three, then two and finally saying with tones saturated with excitement.
Mummy, is it tomorrow?
Then the day finally came.
She bounced out of bed, scrambled into her uniform without needing to be asked the 15 usual times. She ate her breakfast without a sound and allowed me to plait her hair with complaining.
My heart stayed firmly in my throat as I marveled, as I am oft to do, at how my tiny little baby is suddenly clothed in uniform and heading off to school everyday.
Her excitement at the evening’s entertainment was simply another painful reminder that she is growing up, and being more of a big girl everyday.
But her excitement was contagious, and as we walked through the school gates I found myself chanting with her…
Disco tonight, disco tonight.
The event of the Autumn term had finally arrived and no one was more excited that my beautiful little girl.
Her outfit was laid out, ready for her to change into post school.
A new dress, three purple bangles, one purple heart shaped ring, one flower beaded necklace – purple. A pink headband with a bow on the side. Pink high heels that although forbidden from daytime school were finally allowed for a nighttime excursion.
She looked all grown up, adorned in plastic and pink.
The disco started at 5.45, we were there by 5.35, eager not to miss a minute.
I walked her in, her brother and sister behind me, dressed to the nines for their disco which was starting an hour later. I felt her hesitate at the door, her excitement suddenly giving way to nerves. Her hand gripped mine tightly as she whispered her name to the Dad behind the desk, my baby was back and needed me, just to get her through the door.
Shall I stay a while? I whispered and she nodded quietly. Her hand stayed in mine, and we went in search of sweets and drink.
I would have stayed for the hour, if she needed me.
A friend appeared, and that little hand slipped out of mine and into hers and suddenly she was off, darting through the dancefloor, laughing loudly with a crowd of four and five-year olds around her.
She caught my eye as I stood to the side and I repeated my question, mouthing the words so she could lip read over the music.
Shall I stay?
She flashed me a smile as wide as the room and shook her head steadily.
I’ll see you at the end, come back for me, I love you.
Then she ran across the floor, into my arms, planted a kiss on my cheek and twirled off once more.
Still my baby, blossoming into being a big girl.