Tomorrow. For most people, an ordinary Tuesday. But not for me and B. Tomorrow I will wave my wee girl off at the school gate for the first time. Tomorrow feels like the start of a new chapter, a chapter that will see her spend more time in the company of other people than she does with me, a chapter that sees her never need me in quite the same way again.
How did we get here so quickly? When I was pregnant with B, people told me time and time again how quickly kids grow up. But you don’t appreciate just how quickly until you’re living it. It feels like the last four years and almost nine months have gone by in a heartbeat. And now my clever, hilarious, bossy, gorgeous chatterbox is ready for school. But what if I’m not ready?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited for her. I’m excited that she’s excited. I see how animated she gets telling me about something new she’s learned at nursery, I see how much satisfaction she gets out of writing a new word, and I know she will thrive in the classroom where every day is filled with new discoveries. I’m excited for the new friends she will make, for the opportunities that school will give her, and I’m excited to see her grow as a person.
But at the same time, the growing up scares me. I know I have to let her spread her wings and make her own way in the world, even though she is only four. But it is hard. I don’t think I have ever been this emotional as a parent. I can’t help worrying. What if she struggles to make friends? What if she doesn’t like her school dinner? What if other kids are mean to her? What if she falls over in the playground and hurts herself? There are a million what ifs, stretching way into the future.
But all I can do is hope that we have brought her up, and will continue to bring her up, to be able to handle whatever life throws at her. And to know that on the days when it feels like she can’t, that she can always turn to us for support and for love.
I suppose that’s my greatest wish as B grows up. That she will always come to me when she needs to – to share in her triumphs, when she needs advice or a shoulder to cry on, when she needs to know that someone is in her corner, fighting her battles right alongside her. And I hope that she will know every single day how proud I am of her.
And if tomorrow is the start of a new chapter, then I guess today is the end of a chapter too. So let me just say how lucky I feel to have been part of the first chapter of my little lady’s life. I often tell B that I’ve loved her from the second I knew she was in my tummy. I’ve watched her grow from a teeny tiny newborn, to a clingy toddler who wanted mummy to do everything, to an inquisitive and energetic four year old who most definitely knows her own mind. I’ve watched her adapt to life as a proud big sister, and she amazes me constantly. And although I can guarantee I’ll be crying my eyes out as I walk home from school tomorrow morning, I cannot wait for the next stage of our adventure together.