My youngest baby starts school this month.
I remember the day that she was born, even though I’d been through it all before, it felt totally different. She was fresh and new, a shiny little human. She reminded me so much of her older sister, but at the same time I could tell they were completely different. As they’ve grown, those differences have become more and more apparent.
My oldest daughter, is cautious, she likes to take her time and mull things over, assessing the situation before tentatively moving forward. But she also has a wicked sense of humour, she understands sarcasm (and uses it with brilliant comic timing!) and has a great sense of fun.
My youngest is impulsive, implausibly strong, and brave. She jumps straight in with both feet, without a hesitation or a thought for any consequences. But she can also be quiet, soft, caring and gentle.
I have worried equally for both as they embarked on new chapters of their lives, but in different ways. I worried my oldest would feel swamped when she started school, that her cautious quiet voice wouldn’t be heard. I needn’t have, as she has proved her strength and determination time and again, and she is thriving.
Now, I am worried that my youngest is too little. That although she is brave and strong, she is still a baby. My baby. Deep down I know she is ready, but am I?
I worry that I won’t be there to hold her hand if she feels overwhelmed. To cuddle and soothe her if she falls. The crazy thing is she already goes to nursery, so I know that she feels confident and comfortable without me. But somehow starting school feels different; a bigger step, a more final one.
My babies are growing, and so I must too.
My role as their mother is always changing and evolving, but this is the first time I have felt that maybe they need me just a little less. That maybe I have a fraction more space to explore my needs, my wants, my challenges. Honestly that’s a little terrifying, to have space just for me.
So although I feel sad, and worried, and a smidge terrified, I am embracing this new chapter. And I am taking notes from both of my amazing daughters… I am planning and mulling things over, but I am also brave and strong; open to change and opportunity.
Here’s to New Chapters, who knows what they will bring.