My baby, my littlest one, my little mama's girl... not so baby, not so little anymore.
Last year when her big brother walked this path ahead of her, I didn't think she would be ready for preschool this September. While he marched in with a big smile and didn't look back; I looked ahead and pictured the day when a preschool teacher would be left cuddling my crying girl while I left on her first day. She has always been cuddlier, needed me more, been slightly less sure in new situations, just a bit more clingy.
But what a difference a year makes. And my baby girl has grown up so much. And proved her Mummy's predictions of the year before totally, completely, 100% wrong. She's been so excited in the build up to starting preschool, asking each morning if it is time for her to go to preschool yet. I think the fact she's been dropping off her big brother there four mornings a week for the past year helped; she knows its a fun place, full of toys to play with, and ladies with big smiles for her. I think the fact that she has little friends starting right alongside her helps a lot too. But mostly she has just grown up a lot this past year. Which makes me very proud, and also terribly sad, because I feel like it happened without me fully noticing. She's such a little girl these days. So ready to be enjoying some more independence at preschool. So ready to be challenged and to learn new things. And I am so excited for her... if a little melancholy that we go there so fast.
This morning she was a big bundle of excitement, chattering about going to preschool and itching to get out the door and go from the minute she'd finished her breakfast. She picked up her flower with her name on by the door and eagerly ran in to self register with a big "good morning" for all the ladies who said hello to her. She said hi to her key worker, put away her book bag, and without so much as a backward glance she went off to play. We watched her for a little while... I literally could not have been prouder of her. As I went to say goodbye a flicker of worry dashed across her face, but her big bro saved the day immediately by jumping in to give her a cuddle and wish her a fun day. With a cheery little "bye Mummy" she went back to playing with her new friends... and I dashed out the door before the tears started.
This little lady enchants me in so many ways that I never could have ever expected her to... she's just so amazing that it often leaves me a little lost for words with a lump in my throat. Oh so funny, more than a little bit cheeky and with a definite wild streak. A little hippy who loves nature, wanders barefoot through the grass, and never tires of collecting stones. With a sharp memory, and the kind of polite manners which makes me want to cry with pride. She's lost so much of the shyness she had last year, and has picked up her brother's way of saying hello to everyone and assuming every person on earth is just a friend she hasn't met yet. She's full of innocence and happiness and joy at the world, but she can also "humph", roll her eyes and shrug her shoulders like she's a teenager already.
In short I love her to pieces. My little ray of sunshine. And she's ready to share that sunshine with the world. I know she's going to adore her time at preschool. And I hope they'll adore her.
So go and rock it baby girl, like we know you can.
Let them all know just what a little sunshine you are.
And don't change, never change... because you are perfect just as you are.
And it's okay to pretend you want to stay home with Mummy some days. Because it'll make her feel a bit more special... and some extra cuddles wouldn't hurt either.