So my daughter is 8 now and I have that familiar birthday panic about her growing. She’s halfway to 16. Halfway to GCSEs and boyfriends and proms. Halfway to hair straighteners, fake tan and make-up (OK, probably a lot closer than halfway). She’s halfway to me giving her permission to get married, for flip’s sake! And, no, I WON’T be giving permission for my baby girl to get married before she leaves school.
Where did the time go? How did she get this big and this grown up so fast?
But I think back over the last eight years and it does seem a long time since my baby was sharing a Phil & Ted’s with her brother, since she had no hair, since she was breastfed, since she ate food which wasn’t chocolate or cake based, since she got her precious first pair of shoes…
I think of all the outfits she’s had – the muted pink and brown capsule wardrobe in 6-9 months, the retro lemon design Tshirt with the matching yellow trousers. And the dresses. So many dresses. Pink, floral, short, long, cotton, viscose, woollen. And the Lelli Kellys she got for her birthday every year, every pair a milestone.
This year she got an iPod (and definitely no Lelli Kellys) and we loaded it up with the music she loves, which is a lot of the music I love. It reminded me of her 4th birthday and how she had her own special birthday playlist – not kids’ music, but chart music. I’d forgotten she loved music that long ago. She danced with her friends to that music and she was so happy.
Did I panic then that she was halfway to 8? That she was growing up too fast? That she wasn’t a baby any longer? That she wouldn’t be cute any more?
But she IS still cute. She’s taller and the hair is longer. There’s hardly any pink left in her wardrobe, but she’s still that same baby girl that shared a Phil & Ted’s with her brother and danced to chart music with her friends on her 4th birthday.
And she’ll still be that baby girl when she’s 16.