The more Little G and I are together, the more I realise how fast time is fleeting by. In six weeks she will celebrate her second birthday. It is hard to believe.
Some time this spring she'll become a big sister and You must be mad will be at home on maternity leave, so our precious two days of fun may no longer happen. Two more years and she could be in full time nursery school.
There's an ache in my heart as I look back on our times together. Crawling races in the shiny summer grass, culminating in a shared ice cream. Hoisting her up into the swing to screams of delight. Collecting autumn leaves to take back. Dancing in the arcade under the twinkly Christmas lights. All this is now in our past. It won't ever happen again
Whenever I hear mothers complain that they 'can't wait' for their little ones to start nursery/school. I want to grab hold of them and say, 'You will never get this precious time back. This period of innocence and trust, when cuddles and kisses are freely given. When you are the epicentre of the world; your lap is safety and your arms represent security and comfort.'
Little G is developing into a small person. She makes choices and decisions; she doesn't always co-operate. Sometimes we have disagreements and bust-ups. I watch her walking away from her sweet baby-self and stepping into her little girlhood, leaving behind all the lovely times we have both shared. And I know that's how it has to be. For both of us.
As the poet C.Day Lewis put it: 'Selfhood begins with a walking away,/And love is proved in the letting go.'
To be continued ...