The First Day of School

I feel like this day has been coming for such a long time and yet I can’t believe that it’s here already.  We are so ready for it and yet so completely unprepared.  I feel a little like we are standing on the edge, ready to tip into a new world. It’s exciting and exhilarating and terrifying.  We have no idea of the joys and the challenges that we are going to face over the next few years.  The only thing I’m sure of is that it won’t be the ones that we expect.

Looking at this little girl, looking so grown up and so proud in her school uniform I am filled with wonder.  Where did my baby girl go?  How is it possible that this lovely little lady is the same newborn that I cradled in my arms? Wasn’t that just yesterday?

I can hardly take it all in, there are too many emotions, pride, joy, excitement, anxiety, love, grief.  The grief might be overwhelming if it weren’t for the love.  Why does no-one tell you this about mothering?  That it is a series of tiny bereavements. At the same time as we are celebrating new milestones and achievements we are mourning the loss of a newborn / baby / toddler who was here the other day and never will be again.    

It is impossible to express what I feel for this sweet girl, this amazing little person who is so full of contradictions.  Sometimes fierce and sometimes fragile, often kind and often self centred, so brave and yet so shy.  This little girl who is at once so familiar and so unknown.  Sometimes, watching her, I am reminded so strongly of the little girl that I used to be, that I’m not sure where I end and she begins.  

I wish I could stay by her side, but I know she’s going to be just fine so I’ll kiss her on the cheek, tell her that I love her and leave her to find her own way.