Today LP is back at preschool after her half term break. She starts her final half term at preschool before the summer holidays and then school in September.
When LP started preschool she was a tot. Barely more than a baby, a few days past her third Birthday, so petite, shy and having not attended any form of childcare, outside of family, since she was 19 months old.
Since then LP has been at preschool for the best part of a year. Two and a half terms. She has made friends, come out of her shell completely and grown in confidence more than I could have imagined. She has settled in so well, learnt so much and grown from that tiny tot into a proper little girl – who is still tiny but has opinions, ideas and an imagination that knows no bounds.
In about thirteen short weeks LP will be wearing school uniform for her first day at the big school next door to her preschool. She’ll be staying at school for lunch and we won’t see her until we pick her up at 3pm each day. Little Man will eat his lunch without his sister by his side and will go for his nap without saying goodnight to her. We’ll go and pick her up each day, come home and have a couple of hours with her before dinner, bath and bed.
How can LP be starting school already? It feels like I gave birth to her yesterday and yet in 12 weeks she will be four and a few days later she will be starting big school. The baby years are long gone, my toddler has grown and my preschooler has a few weeks left before she starts the next chapter.
I am excited for her. So excited as I know she will love school, she will learn so much and her imagination and ideas will continue to grow. She will also make more friends and cement those friendships she already made in preschool. She has a whole school life ahead of her and I can’t wait to see her learn and grow, to get school photos and to see her achievements as the years go by.
But it doesn’t stop September from coming far too quickly. This is such a bittersweet time and the sadness is mostly that I will miss my beautiful little girl when she isn’t there in the afternoons, when I no longer pick her up at 11:30am and when I don’t get to have picnic lunches with her on the living room floor.
I have loved having these last four years with LP and I am glad that she went to preschool five days a week for her 2.5hrs a day for the last 9 months as it eased her into education and it got us used to her not being there all day. It was good for all of us.
I know that this time next year I’ll be looking back at LP’s first year of school, reminiscing about everything she has learnt and the adventures she has been on. I will be looking back fondly and smiling. But for now I am going to hold onto these last precious weeks and savour every last afternoon with LP and when the summer comes and I am going to will each day to last as long as possible.
I’m not quite ready for school just yet.