Our littlest has always been an early riser. Of our three children, he took the longest to sleep through the night. Even now, after a day at nursery, he needs body contact. He’ll run to our legs, cling on and laugh when we try and shake him off, squeeze us fiercely.
Most mornings he leaps into our bed, all elbows and knees. Today I woke up heavy with sleep, to find him role playing with his toys next to me. Cars, dinosaurs, balloons, bubbles, football, soft toys. A whirlwind of activity.
Next week is his last day at nursery before he starts school. The last of our three to pass through that building. How can bricks and mortar hold such memories? For me, it’s been baby leave and plus a decade of three day working weeks. From September, I’ll have five days at my desk. No more weekday naps with my little loves or playdates when the big two are in school.
I’m excited to see what this new stage will bring for us both. But I don’t want this sweetness to end. His clumsy hands on my face, the kisses he gifts so readily and sweetly, the need to be as close to us as possible. The years roll by and my heart is full.
In my mind, the Gibran poem: ‘You may house their bodies but not their souls/You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.’