The small boy started big school this week. We were both brave and have managed the transition quite well; but it’s made me all reflective about my little baby growing up.
He’ll be four in November and those years have gone like a blur. I know it’s a cliché, but sometimes, most of the the time, clichés are so very true. The memory of holding him when he was born; doing the skin to skin thing and I was just shocked, amazed, full of love and terrified that I had a real life baby in my arms. I knew at that moment, I would fight anyone to the death if they so much as gave him a funny look.
I remember holding him during our first days at home, when I was alone and wondering who on earth had decided I was grown up enough to care for this beautiful, helpless, vulnerable creature. He smelt great too, newborns are almost edible, almost.
I remember his Christening and watching his grumpy face as he was passed around family and friends when he just wanted to cuddle his mummy or daddy. I remember holding my breath in case he cried when they baptised him. He didn’t.
I remember taking him to nursery for the first time, just short of his first birthday and breaking my heart in the car on the way to work. I held him extra close for a long time that night and for several nights after.
In the nights before I went into hospital for my operations, I stuck a brave face on for him and squeezing him tight before bed; knowing that I wouldn’t see him for a few days. Those nights in hospital when I hadn’t been able to kiss him goodnight, they seemed horribly long and lonely without him.
He’s not overly cuddly, but when he’s poorly he really craves cuddles and reassurance. I make the most of his under the weather snuggles, when he’s burning up and he just wants his mummy. I know he’s coming down with something when he just climbs on my knee and nestles in.
His first day of school, he was all manly and grown up. No proper cuddles for mummy, just a cursory hug of my knee and he was off. He’s growing up fast and I hope we’ve done enough to prepare him for big school.
He’s a tough little monkey; independent, funny, chatty, charming, with eyes that’ll get him both in trouble and out of trouble in equal measure. I know his affectionate cuddles will become less frequent now he’s growing up and becoming a man of the world; so when they do happen I’m going to make the most of them, and hold him extra tight for a little bit longer.
He’ll always be my baby, no matter how grown up he is. I hope he’ll still occasionally give me a special mummy cuddle. I hope one day he’ll feel his heart fill with love for the tiny newborn in his arms, and understand for himself what unconditional love really is.