On the eve of my ‘baby’ going to her first year of pre-school, my heart is breaking a little that my last baby is definitely no longer a baby.

Last year, her and I spent many hours waiting in the car, in the hallway, waiting for her sister to finish her dancing lessons, or her soccer practice, or her swimming lessons, even her Sunday School lessons.

Although she has been going to ‘school’ every day for nearly two years, tomorrow she starts pre-school proper. She went to Sunday School in the last few months of 2016, and has been going to swimming lessons for a few months and is nearly able to swim by herself, she is signed up for dancing lessons which start in a couple of weeks time, and will also be part of the soccer tournament in her own right this year, instead of her sister’s team’s cheerleader.

She is so very excited. She is just about bursting to get going, to do all the things her big sister does.

And I’m so happy she is finally getting the chance! She is going to do great things! She is fiercely determined to do everything her big sister does, and she is so clever.

But, a very small selfish piece of me wants to hold her back, keep her at my side.

When she was nine months old, she started trying to walk. Her sister had walked at ten months so I knew she was ready. Selfishly, I admit to holding her back or nudging her over instead of encouraging her and dangling the proverbial carrot as most parents do. This was partly because I was desperate for her to wait one more week for daddy to get home after a six week stint in Southern Nigeria, but the other part of me was just trying to hold her back, for me! I wasn’t ready.

I guess is begs the question, are we ever ready for them to ‘grow up’.

For the record she is 3 years and 7 months old (or 43 months old if I were to continue to think of her as my baby).

And so, my darling, if you ever read this, know that whilst I am not ready for you to grow up, I know you’re going to do so well this year. May you achieve everything you want, and may you be happy in your new school, may you make new friends, and may you dance with joy every day.

If you didn’t know, the title of this post is a quote by William Shakespeare. Taken as it is, it perfectly describes my little girl. Love you sweetheart.

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