While Emma has been growing up, we have documented many of her ‘firsts’ such as the first time she crawled and then walked; the first time she fed herself; and the first time she slept in her ‘big girl’ bed. But as time has gone on, Emma is starting to have just as many ‘lasts’.
On Wednesday, it was Emma’s last day of Playgroup. Playgroup has been a big part of our Mothers Group journey and a highlight of Emma’s weekly routine since she was a year old. Every Wednesday, we would pack our piece of fruit and Emma would play with her friends while I caught up with my Mothers Group. There are still a few of us who are continuing Playgroup next year with our younger ones, but it just won’t be the same without Emma and her buddies who started it all.
It was also Emma’s final day of Kindy last Friday. She brought home an amazing portfolio filled with some very impressive work. I spent some time this week going through it while she explained each project to me. The effort put in by her teachers is really amazing and this has been reflected through Emma’s Kindy learning journey.
For me, Emma’s last day of Kindy marks the end of her ‘baby years’ where she has spent the majority of her days at home with me. Next year, she will be at pre-primary five days a week and I can’t imagine not having her around everyday. It will certainly be (a lot) quieter and I will be able to spend more time with Chloe and on my work, but I know that I will really miss her company.
Asides from Emma’s final days of Playgroup and Kindy, there have also been many ‘lasts’ which have sadly gone un-noted. And this is simply because when they happened, I had no idea at all that it was the last time. There was a time when Emma got hurt, she would always ask me through her tears to ‘kiss it better’. These days, even if there is no blood, Dora or Barbie bandaids provide her with the same level of comfort that my kisses used to. When I kissed her better that final time, if I had known that it was to be the last, I would have given her three extra kisses and an extra big hug to mark the occasion.
Emma and I have always enjoyed shopping together. And if I had known it was to be the last time that she would sit in the trolley that day so we could chat face to face, I would have tickled her neck, kissed her sweet face and pushed the trolley really fast through the aisles like she always wanted me to.
There are so many other lasts that I am not looking forward to but I know they will come and go without me even realising it. Like the last time she will ever ask me to snuggle with her ‘just for a little while’ when she goes to bed. Or the last time she will offer to sing me one of her (very long) French songs while we are driving. Or the last time she wants to hold my hand when we are out together…
Our children are reaching milestones and outgrowing old habits to make room for new ones everyday. To me, it feels like a blur. I look at photos of Emma as a baby and a toddler and I think, wow, did that really happen? If only we could document every moment of our children’s lives. All those little details that simply pass us by while we are busy caring for and learning about them become more important and significant when they have been outgrown.
But what about the last time we ever get to hold our children and say goodbye? No one would ever imagine while saying goodbye to their child that it would be for the last time. With the heartbreaking tragedy that occurred in the US yesterday, my heart goes out to those parents who lost their innocent babies. They would have had no clue that morning when they made their child breakfast or when they hugged and kissed them before school that it would be for the last time. Life is so precious and the time we have with our loved ones is so unclear. All it takes is a senseless tragedy such as this to change life forever and to remind the rest of us to not take any moment for granted. A very sad day. RIP sweet angels.
It may be too late for Christmas but can I suggest you keep them on your radar for the many birthdays that are coming next year? I don’t know about you, but I am tired of the plastic KMart junk that litters our home. Next year, I intend to reconsider my gift-giving habits and select presents that are more educational, meaningful and not to mention sturdy!
A few months ago, we purchased the ‘My First Calendar’ which Emma has used everyday. At first, I had to help her with the numbers and the days but now, she does it all by herself. It is also very funny to watch her look out the window to check the weather as part of her morning routine. I am looking forward to Chloe using this calendar too and I know that Beautiful Beginnings and Firm Foundations will be a great resource as Chloe’s learning requirements increase in the future.
For more information about Beautiful Beginnings and Firm Foundations, please take a look at their Facebook page. And don’t forget to tell them I sent you!