And Before You Know It, They’re Not Little Any More
Where did the time go? I suddenly noticed the other day that my daughter is no longer the little girl she once was. Gone are the curls and in their place is long hair that she can style into a bun for ballet. She is growing up, and fast. I couldn’t say when it happened, it just did, and now she is turning into a beautiful young lady.
It used to be that she needed my help for everything and wanted to tell me exactly what she had done each day at school. Now, there’s a bright young thing who knows how to co-ordinate her own clothes (sometimes), can read no end of books herself each week and wants to go to the toilet on her own when we are out. It’s quite amazing to realise that all that help you gave them has actually paid off and that she is quite capable of doing so much for herself. That’s what we aimed for, isn’t it? But sometimes it can be a little sad too because, in reality, something has been lost. The phase of childhood when they are little and soft and cuddly has really passed and now they need you in another way.
I really loved it when she was little and she would readily come to me for something and always want to hold my hand or sit on my lap to read a book or watch the tv. That closeness was lovely and special. I loved watching her learn how to do new things and soak up her school learning as if she was a sponge. Seeing how everything is so new and exciting to them is so amazing, and probably a lesson for us all. But it was also hard because at that age they can often need you for absolutely everything and that is incredibly tiring. Think of the nappies and car seats and having to get everything for them because they can’t reach. You can’t reason with a toddler, either, because logic is something they just don’t understand. I don’t think I miss that!
Now that she is older many things are easier. She gets herself ready to go to school and can make her own lunch. We can negotiate things as well and she is more likely to understand why things have to be a certain way. I can let her return the trolley in the supermarket, without having to go with her. I can have 5 minutes peace to myself after a busy day at work because that’s what she wants too after a busy day at school.
Now that I think about it, I know exactly when I realised she had grown up – the day I noticed that she is getting ever closer to being as tall as me! That has had a surprising impact on me, in that I started feeling smaller. I don’t doubt that in a few short years she will probably be taller than me, and that will be interesting – a gangly teenager being told off by a munchkin! But it also means that they are becoming more independent and making up their own minds about the wider world. I can’t change that and I can’t protect them so easily from all the pitfalls out there. I want to protect her but also realise that she needs to be able to make her own mistakes and work out how to solve the problems. It is not something that I am finding easy to deal with.
And so those young years are gone and we’re entering a new phase. She’s taller but still my little girl and still needs me. There are lots of things I won’t miss but many things that I will so while she is still young enough I’m going to make the most of it and enjoy it, even the hard parts!
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About the photographer: Sue is a professional portrait photographer based in Harlow, Essex and she specialises in baby and child portraiture. Being a parent, she understands just how special your child is to you and her aim is to produce a collection of images that are natural and meaningful to your family. No two moments are ever the same and she wants to perfectly capture those early precious memories and the natural character of your child. For more information please call 01279 433392, visit the Sue Kennedy Photography website and follow Sue on Facebook or Instagram.