The One About Long Days and Short Years 

The days are long but the years are short.

I’ve been told that several times in the almost four years since my son was born.  I’ve passed this wisdom onto other parents having a terrible day with their little ones. But today, as I left my son at his new primary school for the very first time, the speed with which the time has passed hit me like a truck. No longer is he my baby. 

He’s been at nursery since he was 13 months old. Those days were hard  admitting that other people would teach him things now, that we as parents were no longer the only ones shaping our little baby’s future.

Today, I’d hoped the confident boy  we had all worked so hard to create would so in skipping to see his friends and barely glance back. It wasn’t to be. My almost four year old hid behind me, and asked me to carry him.  He held my hand and told me that he’s shy, and that he wanted to stay with me. It took everything I had not to grab him and run home to lock the door behind us. Think of the end of Going on a Bear Hunt, and you’ll be close! 

Instead, I kissed him, told him to enjoy his day and that I’d be back to fetch him very soon. I left him sitting in a corner in floods of tears . By the time I left the school, the tears were mine too. 
Those four short years have flown by. The things we worried about (and I cried about) when we first brought him home – nap times,  water or wipes, whether to use formula – seem so far removed from today’s concerns. Will he cry for 4 hours?  How can I ensure he doesn’t worry for the next 8 weeks about going in September? Will he have eaten his lunch? Will he remember to use the toilet? I know in my heart that, when  I look back on this post in years to come, thesee things too will seem as small and far removed fromy the worries that will have replaced them.  But today, they’re eating away at me. 

And, even though he isn’t here tormenting me, it’s one of those longest of days that make up those very short years.

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