Yesterday was the first day my girls attended pre-kindy together. My eldest has been going for a while now, but my youngest is now able to join her, because she’s turned two and a half. And boy, was she ready.
She practically ran to the gate, lunchbox in her hand, hair in a pineapple, backpack on her shoulders. Not one tear, not one whine, not even a second glance. More than I can say for myself, hanging around like a bad smell as the pair of them tore apart the dolly box, giggling with glee.
I walked out to my car with a solitary tear and a heavy heart. How quickly they’ve grown up, I sighed. What am I going to without them?
Of course, this feeling lasted about one second. I started up the car with a little piece of freedom restored to my tired and imprisoned soul. A slight overstatement (hahah!) but it did feel quite good, I must admit. So many options, so many possibilities…
Should I go for a coffee? Work on my business or marketing plan? Finally, write some more of my novel? Or sleep. Yes, sleep. Or I could watch tellie, or clean, walk the dogs round the lake, do a gym class, do the food shopping, see my mum, write a blog post. I could do some yoga or meditation (there’s a first time for everything!), pop in to see my neighbour, water the plants or take a shower. The list seemed endless.
I drove home, music cranking. This was the day I had been waiting for. The first day I could say was mine and mine alone. Mine for the taking, mind to spend exactly as I chose. I had talked about it, thought about it, dreamt about it. And now, it was finally here.
But as I walked into the empty house, all I could think about was their little faces, and how they were getting on. Would my eldest look after the little one? Would the youngest make it to the potty on time? Would they have ‘news’ for the class? Would my youngest need her blanket, left forgotten on the couch. At least she had her teddy and her sister. I wondered if she’d miss me at all.
Needless to say, it wasn’t quite the day I was expecting. After an instant coffee, I did some washing, faffed around on the Internet, wrote a few sentences here and there on my business plan, and had a cheese toastie. I didn’t even have a shower. Three hours passed in an instant, and it was time for me to pick them up.
I couldn’t wait to hear all about it, bring them home for cuddles, some quiet time. I’d really missed them both.
However I shouldn’t have been surprised. When I walked in through the door to greet them, the first thing my eldest said to me was ‘Oh, mummy! Not yet. We want to stay!’ A little stab in my heart, but I nodded and smiled and moved onto to the youngest graciously. ‘Ada, do you want to come with mummy?’ ‘No. I want to stay ‘ere with Eve.’ More heart stabs. But they seemed so happy, so I didn’t make a fuss. ‘I’ll come back in a couple of hours.’
My toddlers, all grown up. They didn’t need me anymore…. I’ll be ok, I thought. I’ll get used to it. After all, it’s time for me now.
As I turned away, I felt a tug. It was my eldest, crying. ‘Mummy, I love you from my heart. Will you come back after the movie?’ I pulled her close. ‘Of course I will, little chicken. You’re doing a great job, looking out for your sister.’ My eldest smiled proudly. ‘She’s in training, mummy.’
She certainly was. I looked over, and the little one was waving. ‘See soon, mama. See soon.’
The food shopping beckoned. Perhaps now would be a good time to do it. Without the girls causing havoc. I was getting the hang of this. Slowly. Maybe it was me in training too…