This morning I attended my daughter’s final school assembly for 2018, and it was such a surreal feeling.
I remember sitting in her very first assembly at the start of this year, watching her with pride as she walked in with her class. All of the little munchkins in their brand new school uniforms, with giant jumpers and dresses down to their shins. They were all so excited and nervous for what the first year of school held for them all.
As I look back at this year, I can clearly see how much my little one has grown. She has physically grown (nearly two clothing sizes!!) but also mentally, emotionally and spiritually she has taken giant leaps. It has been a very challenging year for me too, I had to adjust to letting my baby out of my grasp and allow her the space and support that she needed to thrive without me by her side every step of the way.
There were times this year that she cried many tears, as she navigated new friendships, learnt that she cannot always be the best at everything and had to work hard at some things that didn’t come easy to her. One of the biggest challenges that I faced was watching her experience pain that I couldn’t ‘fix’ and trying to balance up whether I needed to let her fall so that she could pick herself up, or whether I needed to step and in and protect her.
I can promise you that for every tear she shed over this year, there was at least double that I shed once she was safely tucked up in bed for the night.
Parenting is the most amazing, terrifying, rewarding, raw, emotional journey you can experience and none of us have any idea what we are doing. We all try our very best to love and protect our children in the best way that we know how, and we are all doing an amazing job.
Upon reflecting on her journey this year, I realise have watched my little one learn some hard lessons about friendship, courage, confidence and love. Throughout every challenge that she faced, she had an amazing tribe behind her ready to step in should she need it. Lucky for me, all the work that we have done together this year through our Kinesiology sessions and positive affirmations has meant that she is leaving her first year at school a much more confident and strong girl than she walked in as.
I know that we have many, many more years ahead of heartache and tears and if I’m being honest the future absolutely terrifies me at times as I know it can be so full of hate and awful behaviour, however before I spiral into another anxiety attack I now choose to look at the glass as half full and embrace the amazing parts of this life that we are living.
I am so very grateful for the challenges she has faced this year, for without them she wouldn’t have the resilience and confidence that she has now.
I am grateful for the challenges she has faced with her friendships, as it has shown her how to value and appreciate a true friend.
I am grateful for the times that she didn’t succeed, as it has shown her how sweet victory tastes when you work hard for it.
I am grateful for the tears she has shed, as she was able to do that within the safety of my arms.
I am grateful for the pain that I have experienced this year watching her struggle, as it has meant that I had to dig deep and surprise myself with my strength and resilience at the times that it mattered the most.
Most of all I am grateful for the opportunity to have this amazing, big-hearted, gentle soul of a daughter who has given me the greatest gift of watching her blossom and grow during her first year of school.