Growing Up

Where has my baby gone?

This afternoon I took my little girl to a dance class. Now, I always knew I would probably do this, she loves to dance (and sing), always has, however most dance schools don’t take children until they’re three years old. 

This one appeared in my parish newsletter last week and said they started from age two. I rang up this morning and before I knew it, we were there. 
My toddler is two years old and sometimes seems big to me, in comparison to her baby sister, and sometimes seems small, when she’s with her big cousins. 
Today she was of similar age to the other children there but that wasn’t what I noticed; I saw a class of six girls, dancing! 
They were holding hands in a circle, they were sitting on the floor, they were listening to the teacher and together, they formed a class. 
My beautiful, precious baby who I brought home from the hospital five minutes ago was now part of a class. 
She suddenly seemed so grown up right in front of me and it hit me like I did not expect. I suddenly felt like I was not ready for this; but she definitely was ready, and loved it so much, it would be selfish of me to not continue to take her. It’s just, in my head, once they start school that’s it, you never have them home and all to yourself ever again. 

  
She starts school next year so I know I have one more year of keeping her. Tonight seemed to propel the idea of me sending her off into the world further forward. 
It will do her good to mix with the other children and to follow instructions from another adult, I know this. Being part of something like this will encourage her with friendships and will probably ease her transition into nursery school too. 
My head is telling me that it is a very good thing. She loves to dance so much, even though she did occasionally do her own thing this afternoon; the little toddler appeared again when she ran like a free-spirit around the room. 

However, for the majority of the time she did really well listening and copying and joining in, I was so proud of her. 
But when I think back now to the girl I saw in that room, I can’t seem to shake the question; ‘where has my baby gone?’

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