My Kids are Growing Up

My baby girl finished primary school yesterday. And my eldest finished year 10.

All dressed up and ready to go to the youngest's confirmation
They are growing up. I have asked them not to, but still they continue to do it, without a care for my feelings.

Every day, they are a little more mature, a little more the person they are going to be as an adult.

And as much as I am excited to see what their future will hold, I also worry about what their future will hold.

I think about the boys and girls/men and women they will meet a long the way, who will influence them once they leave home and move away. I can only hope those people are good people, people who can nurture and support my babies and allow them to be who they want to be.

I think about the successes they will achieve and hope that all their childish dreams come true, I hope my eldest will end up designing and making theatre costumes and my youngest will have a dancing career, but I worry. These are competitive and difficult professions to be successful in and I haven't anybody in those fields to give them a step up and help them along the way.

I know they are good enough, better than good, brilliant in fact, but so are many others.

I just don't want their joyfulness at what each new day brings be marred by disappointment.

I just want them to continue to feel joy, daily. No matter what.

So for now, I am focussing on the now, getting the youngest ready for secondary school (she is more than ready) and the eldest ready for her GCSEs.

But it is hard, not to think of them like this, even though they are both so grown up.

I now know why, even now, with dementia, my Dad still always greets me with 'ah there is little Janey'.

Very few get away with calling me Janey and no one ever would call me little, but my Dad looks at me and sees me as a child.

I think all parents do, and it is a fine balance, trying to treat them with the maturity they deserve when actually all you want to do is say, shh now, with all your talk of exams and secondary school - lets go to the park and play. Which neither of them want to do, well not with me, any more.

But all this is just life, moving forward, as it should do. I love watching my girls develop and I know they will be wonderful, strong, powerful women who will love and laugh and have great success, because already, they are resilient and beautiful and clever.

I saw my youngest go for her first audition for a proper production, last week. She didn't get it, but instead of being sad, she loved the audition process and had a great attitude. She didn't expect to get it seeing the other girls and boys around her, and realises what she now needs to do to be ready for the next audition. There were no tears or sadness, just more determination for next time.

Similarly, my eldest has spent this year at school doing lots of little extra things to contribute to school life, as a result at the end of the year she has been rewarded, and will be a Prefect in Year 11.

I am so proud of my girls and ultimately believe that no matter what life throws at them, they will dust themselves off and carry on. I just need to make sure I take the time to appreciate every moment I have with them, before they go off into the big wide world.

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