In September the Lion starts school.
I never expected him to be ready. But we have been lucky, the last few months have given him time, space and friendships. Friendships gradually built over garden fences, with children who have got to know him, children who have given him space and time, allowed him to feel safe.
When I dreamt of his last few weeks before school, life as it is now, wasn’t what I expected.
I’d envisioned play dates and zoo trips, visits to the park and meetings at play areas. I’d expected hugs on visits to Grandma’s house, and a final trip on Mickey Mouse’s boat.
There are so many lasts that we won’t do before the Lion starts school.
Many we could, and have chosen not to. The Lion finds new people hard, we don’t want to make him more afraid by telling him he needs to stay away. Others, like trips with Grandma have been taken from us – as Grandma lives in one of the areas with higher restrictions.
The world changed, in what feels like an instant.
And with it our expectations.
It makes those lasts we still have all the more precious.
Lazy mornings cuddling watching TV, walks with small fingers clutching my hand, delight in the tiniest of things, being lifted out of bed in the morning, our last holiday with a pre-schooler – albeit not the one we had planned.
You see, although we may have some of those things for quite a while yet, once school starts – gradually, things will start to change. We will no longer be his whole world, we will just be a part of that world. Friends and teachers will influence him, and he they.
And that is right, it is good, it is part of growing up.
He is ready for that. The last few months have shown us that he needs more than us in his world.
But the truth is I’m not sure – even if he was 20 – I would ever be ready.
With our youngest, we know just how quickly time flies, how precious the hours are.
So over the next couple of weeks, we’ll cherish him that little bit more, linger over those cuddles a tiny bit longer and relish the feeling of his fingers in ours.
We’ll make memories to last a lifetime.
So that even when he is big and grown, a tiny part of his younger self will be there to remember, to hold onto to love.
Fly high Lion.
Your cheering squad will never be far behind.
Whatever the future brings, you are ready.