Some people may say that today is a pointless activity; driven by financial greed, crazy parents or an excuse for a celebration. For me as a parent, it is the opportunity to truly sit back and reflect on the past few years and how much you have grown in that time, because no matter how much I tried cling onto the past few years, they slipped through my fingers.
I sit here in a sea of proud parents who are all smiling ear to ear, watching you all on stage smiling back at us, and I think back to the first time I dropped you off at nursery. You were 10 months old, and I was about to return to work. I was somewhat excited for you as I knew you would take this in your stride; I was excited about the adventures you would have, the friends you would make and the things you would learn.
It was about 3 weeks after you started nursery, when I parked up in the car park ready to collect you, and I watched other parents arriving for their child’s graduation day. I remember sitting there having a little bubble of excitement in my stomach thinking that this would be us in a few years time. You were still my baby and it seemed so far away. Today I watched a parent pick up their child, who was about the same age you were when I watched the other parents arrive for graduation day. I saw the same look in her face that I had in mine; except now I am that parent.
Today is a celebration of how much you have grown as a person; and although I tell you how proud we are of you and your fierce personality everyday, you’re too young to comprehend the true meaning of this. You’re fearless, strong minded, and curious; and I hope and pray you never loose these qualities.
We often take for granted how much you grow in these first few years; we get distracted by the tantrums, sleepless nights, and fussy tendencies at meal times – we easily forget the triumphs you’ve had along the way, because they passed a year or two before. You’re fiercely resilient, rarely deterred from trying new things or making mistakes. You fall down and graze your knee, so you try and try again until you don’t fall down any more. You ask endless questions, not because you’re trying to be annoying, but because you want to know how everything works; you’re desperate to learn as much as you can, and as much as I can, I try to teach you.
But you’ve taught me so many things along the way; you’ve taught me a new level patience, one I didn’t expect as I had always been a very patient person – you challenged this many times, but you helped me to grow further as a person. You’ve taught me to laugh, endlessly, even when I feel like crying. You’ve taught me to worry less; you live your life day-to-day, taking every moment as it comes – I try to live more like you, getting the most out of each day. You’ve taught me to look forward to the future and all of the exciting things that come with this – I no longer dread getting older, because each year that passes is a new chapter and adventure in our lives, full of endless opportunities. But most importantly, you’ve taught me a new type of love. One that is different from the love I have for my parents, for daddy, or any other family and friends; it’s a love that I can’t put into words, but it is so strong, it makes me so unbelievably happy, and you gave this to me.
Today has not been a pointless celebration; today has been all about you. A moment in time where everything stops still; no stresses or responsibility interfering, everything is stripped back and the focus is solely on you. A true moment to reflect. We are so proud of you and all you have achieved to date, and although this journey has naturally had its up and downs, we have enjoyed every moment of the ride with you so far.
As this chapter closes, I’m excited to watch you, and guide you through the coming chapters at school. Remain fearless, strong minded, unafraid of making mistakes, and keen to learn as much as you can about everything and anything. But above all else, always remember how loved you are and how proud we are.
With all the love in the world,