I have had one of the best summers. There have been no holidays, no fancy day trips, no money spent on cinema trips or leisure centres or amusement parks...but it has been the best.
My girl has been my girl again. All summer. A glorious 6 weeks of giggling and playing, reading and creating, cuddles and holding hands, chatting and adventuring.
Last week I could not shake the lump in my chest that would rise to my throat every time i thought about her starting school full time. Full time! That feeling that you may errupt into embarrasing mum crying at the school gate because you aren't mentally dancing in your head at the thought that you have finally got rid of them...
Over the past 6 weeks I have witnessed my little girl grow, and really truly noticed it. From her height to her behaviour, her development and her glowing personality. The past six weeks have changed her. Of course all the wonderful things that I see in her now were already there to begin with but somehow the summer has given them time to shine and embellished them with extra layers and insight into her little world.
So it was with a heavy heart that I prepped her for school. Shoes purchased and oversized P.E kit packed I put my excited girl to bed on monday night and tiptoed out of her room listening to her breathing out heavy exhausted sighs bourne from weeks of play. I read once the hardest part of parenting is the constant stepping back and letting go. However much i wish to stiffle my little ones and hold them close and never let them change from how they are at just this very second I know I simply can't.
Tuesday morning arrived and I did myself proud. I sucked it up and got excited with her. For her. We stood in the playground were we stood last year (as a nursery child who didn't need uniform and definately hung on to mummy for longer) and I watched as I she bounded up to the door to be first one in with a cry of 'byeeeee mum! see you later alligator!' not waiting for my reply. My girl. my happy, confident, kind, eager, sociable, and sometimes a little bit loud(!) girl.
At the end of every day I wait with bated breath for her to run out and still be the same girl who went in. Not becasue I want to stifle her but becasue I don't want her beautiful personality to change. I don't want her to be picked on, I don't want her to pick on others. I don't want her to be hurt be others comments. I don't want her to learn the power of her words to be negative. I don't want her to be sad or lonely or frightened and I certainly want her to be the one who makes others feel he opposite of all those things. I want the innocence of youth to stay. Just a little while longer.