We all have these moments as parents. Moments where you think to yourself “Wow,how did that happen?! Where did the time go?”
I’ve had a lot of them (with 5 children there are many many firsts and lasts!). My biggest baby has gone all the way through the school system, from nursery to college. My second is in secondary school. Pandas number 3 and 4 are at primary school.
But nothing has made me quite so sad as the realisation that I will never again do a nursery drop off. That my Littlest Panda has graduated from his absolutely amazing nursery, and is ready to embark on his next big adventure!
Sure I’m excited for him. Hes growing into such a clever and kind little boy, hes ready for school. He wants to learn, wants to know things. And I’m so so proud of him.
But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t devastated about it.
He is my baby. My sidekick, my Mini me. He has been by my side for over 4 years, only leaving me to go to Nanny’s house or to nursery. His nursery has been his second home. He has been loved and nurtured there, as all my other children were before him. Starting school is a huge milestone. But leaving nursery is a massive wrench, for both of us. All the staff are so wonderful there, and he has loved his time with them. As have I. We will both miss them very much.
And I find myself asking far too often, “How?” How did we get to this point so fast? How did the time pass so quickly, and suddenly he is no longer my baby?
We have one last day together, just him and I, and we are going to do something special.
After tomorrow my big pandas will be finished with school for the summer, and in September, as they pull on their uniforms and get ready for the new school year, he will do the same right alongside them.
And I will do as I always do, and smile with pride at how smart and grown up they look, and how brave they are being about starting another year with a new teacher and new challenges.
But this year my last baby will be with them. The end of an era, but the beginning of a new chapter. And although he may be ready, I’m really not sure if I am yet.