It’s the last day of holidays after Christmas. Its been two and a half mostly wonderful weeks of family time together. And, while it’s been absolutely exhausting, I’ve loved it!
I used to love Christmas: I loved getting and giving gifts. I loved the lunch on Christmas day with the whole family. I loved the rush to buy the perfect gift. I loved the Christmas carols from October. I loved everything about it. I didn’t know it would only get more fun once we had a child.
Christmas and the holidays are now about Holly and how much she enjoys herself. It’s all about watching her swimming with her dad, jumping on the trampoline, climbing on jungle gyms, eating ‘icy cream’ and ‘water-the-melon’. And then passing out at the end of a busy, exhausting day.
Today I’m sitting in a tea garden watching my beautiful, smart, strong and courageous little girl climbing, jumping, laughing and running. And there are secret tears hiding behind my sunglasses. I’m not sad, really… just reflective.
Holly starts play school in just over a week. And I’m petrified for her. Who’s going to protect her from the boys who are too rough and push her down? Who’s going to protect her from her own unsure little legs as she climbs high up in the air? Who’s going to protect her from the little girls who tease and taunt?
I know I can’t be there to do all of this all of the time. I know the best thing I can do is love her unconditionally and help her to become independent, strong and resourceful. But any parent’s first instinct is to protect their child with the fervour of a rabid dog.
When Holly starts school, she’s going to have the best time! She’ll play like it’s a holiday every day. Shell make new friends. And she’ll meet new children who may not be so friendly, but she’ll learn to cope with those difficult situations too.
So as I sit watching my baby play on the last day of the holidays, reflecting on how much she’s grown in two and and a half years, I realise that we’ve reached a major milestone in her development. And in my journey as a mother.