It seems surreal that, whilst she is only nine, the time has come to start looking at senior schools for my little girl. She isn’t due to start senior school till she’s 11, but the process to evaluate her next school has already started. My wife and I looked at a school last week and saw another one today. Walking the corridors of these places brings back memories – not all of them pleasant – of my own senior school days – it’s hard to think that what are fairly old memories for me (nineteen years since I last walked school corridors!), will soon become new experiences for my daughter. I need to stop thinking of her as my little girl, because she isn’t little anymore. She’s always going to be my baby, but she’s not little, she doesn’t need babying and hasn’t for some time. The notion that she’ll soon be moving on to senior school is a tough one to take, but growing up is inevitable. The clock cannot be halted or slowed. I have to accept this, however much I don’t want to.
Of course, as she gets older, the nature of the challenge and reward changes. Whilst I miss her being small enough to cradle in my arms, we can play games together now. We make up silly stories to tell each other. As she gets older, how we spend time together will change and at some point, she’ll want to do her own thing with friends, and I’ll take on the role of worried parent. When she moves out, I already know I’ll miss her. She will however, always, now and forever, be my baby.