One of my favourite brands is Innocent- not firstly for the fact that I am a little bit obsessed with their Innocent Veg Pots (Yum!) but also because I have always had a secret yearning to work at Fruit Towers- it looks like the best place to work ever. When Innocent got in touch to see if we wanted to be one of twenty six bloggers spelling out the alphabet for their Alphabet Challenge, we said yes of course. We would happily sell our souls in exchange for some free vouchers. (That bit might not be entirely true)
We got given the letter M so of course M is for my Mads. And Mango.
Little over a year ago I wrote this post. In it I wrote down all my feelings about Mads potentially starting preschool, about how it was the end of an era and how about we should treasure all these precious moments together. I read it back today and almost cried, I look at those photos of her running around in her little pink tutu clutching some balloons and she just looks so young. I remember that day like it was yesterday, yet so much has changed. She has grown at least a foot taller, those little ringlet curls have got looser and are now almost down to her bottom, and she has changed so much in the face. Gone are the not quite a baby/not yet a girl features, instead now she is a little girl through and through. This Summer has seen the arrival of a splattering of freckles, sun kisses as we call them, over her little button nose.
I'm feeling very nostalgic at the moment, and a little sentimental too. Seeing proud parents post photos of their children all over social media, smiling in their slightly too big, ironed and crisp new school uniform, I am well aware that next year that will be us. It's something that every parent goes through, we have known it was coming even from when she was tiny, when the very idea of school seemed like a far off dream. But slowly we are ticking those milestones of the list- she's been at nursery/preschool almost a year now, she can write her name, she no longer needs her little musical doggy to send her off to sleep at night. Tick, Tick, Tick, another day passing, another milestone achieved.
She drives me mad on a daily basis, she takes about fifteen minutes to get into her car seat especially when I am in a rush, and she can throw one hell of a wobbler if she doesn't get her own way on occasions. But for the most part, we are best friends. She is completely innocent, still sucks her fingers and plays with ears when she is tired and still believes we are the centre of the world. While she realises there are bad people in the world, or that bad things can happen, she doesn't truly grasp that concept quite yet. She lives in a world of rainbows, fairies and Toy Story characters that come to life. And I am not ready to leave that world behind.
Growing up hurts sometimes, it hurts us parents who watch them leaving those precious days behind- those tiny, wailing newborn days, those days where you feel like you will never get off the sofa without a child attached to your breast, those terrible twos where they won't eat anything but fromage frais, and those funny days where they learn word after word and pronounce them wrong. But that's life. We change. We grow. We don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, let alone a year from now.
So I had to dedicate my letter in the Innocent Alphabet to Mads. My precious little girl, who over the next year is going to change and grow more than ever. Who one day won't think her Mummy is the centre of her universe. Who a year from now I will have to let go of just a tiny little bit, as she learns to become the person she is meant to be through the help of her hopefully special and memorable school days. We will enjoy the next year together, the lazy days, the days where we don't have to rush around for the school run, and the days where it's just the three of us. We will bake cakes, see friends, go to the playground and make smoothies.
M is for Mads. And Mango.