They say that the two greatest gifts you can give your children are root and wings. This is something that really resonated with me this week as my youngest child started school - something I'm sure a lot of parents have difficulty adapting to.
Although she probably didn't realise it, a dear friend of mine inspired me to change my attitude this week: rather than seeing the start of Miss 5's school life as me partly losing my child, I realised that it was the beginning of a whole new world of possibility for her. I realised that the last five and a half years I've been enabling her to establish solid roots in our family and the ever-expanding world around her - giving her that safe place to land and be herself. Now it was time to let her spread her wings a little and take her fledgling flight away... just ever so slightly; knowing she'll be excited to see me at the end of the day, and that she knows herself well enough to help take charge of her own learning.
I have a number of friends who were not able to see their children go off to school this week. These gorgeous little souls grew their wings much too soon, and their parents are no doubt finding it quite difficult as they see other families experiencing such joy on first days of school. So I send them, and all those I don't know who are missing their babies today, all my love and promise to hug my girls just that little bit tighter when the school bell rings this afternoon.
Thanks so much to Shannon for helping me see that today is not the end of anything, but the start of something very exciting for my littlest girl who has the world at her feet.