Time, where are you going?
You’re running away, faster and faster, and I can’t keep up.
It was only the other day, surely, that I left my little girl in her brand new school dress and cardigan at the reception classroom door.
At the start of this journey.
Everything too big – her uniform, the playground, the older kids. Everything making her look even smaller.
She was bewildered. Lost. Frightened to leave her mummy behind, and the comforting first few years at home we’d had together.
I felt bewildered. Lost. Frightened to leave her, knowing that I’d miss my little ankle biter at home. But I plastered that reassuring mum-smile on.
It’ll be ok.
It’s just the end of the first chapter, and the start of an exciting new chapter ahead. A chapter where she will learn, grow and discover her independence.
After all, we had all the time in the world ahead in the innocence of the primary school bubble, didn’t we? No need to panic.
But Time, what are you up to? You didn’t give us all the time in the world. You played a trick on me. You bulldozed through seven years in the blink of an eye.
She now wears her skirt short, her cardigan tatty. Nothing is brand new anymore. To the younger ones, she and her friends are the big ones now. The ones she once looked up to in awe.
And now my little girl is about to leave primary school. A few more days to go before she ventures into the world of tweens, teens and more independence.
I might not feel ready, but she definitely is. One day she was holding my hand, walking to school, then the next day I reached out, but her hand wasn’t there.
Then she no longer wanted to walk with us at all.
She now craves to do things on her own or with her friends. Not with me. But that’s ok. That’s what’s meant to happen. That’s what we bring our children up to do. They can’t rely on us forever.
And I couldn’t be more proud of her, of everything she’s achieved, all the challenges she’s faced head on. These challenges that have made her the strong, bright, funny, caring and engaging girl that she is, ready to take on the world.
It’s just that Time, you frighten me. You move so quickly these days. When I was a child, a year lasted forever. Now I have my own children, you make a year go by in a flash.
So, will you just get faster and faster? Everyone says so. Before I know it, will I be nostalgic for this time? The time when she was in year 6, growing up but still within my reach. Still needing me more than she thinks. Not yet embroiled in the years of teenage angst.
I know I will be.
But Time, as fast as you fly, I’m grateful for you, grateful that we have you.
I know this is how it’s meant to be. I know you can’t stand still. You move on, so do our children, and so must we.
Just one thing though, could you just slow down a little please? Catch your breath. There’s no hurry. Keep her within reach for a little while longer.
I’m not ready to wake up tomorrow and discover another seven years have flown by, and she’s about to leave home. Just hold your horses on that one.