Goodbye to our crazy year
To my daughter on the first day back at preschool.
It seems the holidays zoomed by, in a slipstream of parties, sleeping late, presents and countless renditions of ‘Silent Night’.

We’ve had the craziest year of our lives - moving homes, changing everything and growing up so fast. I had to be away so much this past year. In my worst moments, I feel you’re growing up too fast. In my best moments, I am so proud of your independence.

The holidays swung around and I couldn’t wait to spend some time with you – painting, laughing, shopping and lying in the sun whilst you sing ‘Under the Sea’ for the eighteenth time in a day.

We indulged your mermaid obsession, got treated to dinner by mommy’s boyfriend, counted our blessings and ran out of toes, went hunting for fairies in the garden and spring-cleaned the house to the soundtrack you and I have built up over years of doing it together.

Christmas morning memory

Your face on Christmas morning, waking us from our slumber, to say “Father Christmas listened!”, when you realised he had not crossed the white line we drew across the floor to make sure he only came into the house to drop off presents and went no further.

Your gigantic grin when you tore all that paper off and found, within your parcels, all your present dreams come true. Your exuberant exit to the arms of your loving grandparents, who took care of you whilst I celebrated the arrival of a new year, and returned to the office before your school opened.

All these memories welled up in my heart and cloud my eyes when I looked at you sleeping this morning, laying out your clothes for the day and packing your yoghurt and apple. With my heart in my throat, I opened the front door and shuffled us both out into the sunshine.

This is to be your last year at preschool. Next year, it will be an insanity of uniforms and sharpened pencils, with name tags and shiny shoes. But, today, you walk into your little school and you smile so widely to see your friends, your cousins. You know your place so well.

I think about when you started at your preschool and how frightened I was that my little baby had so many new things and people to adjust to. Then I look at you and my forehead furrows. All those new challenges will come back to haunt me again next year.

But today you turn to me and say:

‘Mama, go to work. I have to play now.’

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