I'm not a mum who has ever really cried when my children have been away from me - from their first sleepover at grandmas, to their first day of nursery - I've waved them off, almost gleeful at the thought of time to myself and knowing they would be back before I knew it. And whilst I still may not shed a tear at this next step, there is already a lump in my throat at the thought of it.
Jack has always been my baby. Before I had children I swore, no matter what the age, my kids would be treated the same and I wouldn't make the usual 'mistakes' of making the eldest grow up too fast and keeping the youngest a baby too long. And whilst I feel for the most part I haven't done that, I can't lie that my youngest is still a baby in my eyes. He may have tried to run before he could walk, he may push the boundaries and be braver than many kids older than him, he may be turning me slowly grey, but on so many levels he is still very young. At least he is to me.
He still crawls into my knee for a cuddle regularly, he still needs lots of love when he scrapes his knee, he still often wakes through the night for comfort and he favourite stalling method at bedtime is to ask for 'a last kiss and cuddle'.
|Cuddles always make a bump feel better|
|This little guy gives the best kisses|
And yet, here I am, planning what uniform I need to buy, taking him for school shoes and contemplating that first day of him dressed up, stood proudly next to his big sister posing for that starting school photo. And my heart breaks just a little.
|Big sister and baby brother|
I am so proud of both my children and so excited to watch them grow and see the people they will become. But I can't help but think back to those early days and wish they hadn't gone by quite so quickly, even though at times I wished they would.
So to my boy, no matter what you do and where you go, you will always be my baby, but now's your times to spread your wings just a little. As long as I always get that last kiss and cuddle.