Every day last week, I brought Isla up for her bath, carried her back to our room, got her ready for bed and popped on our favourite Spotify playlist for bedtime.
Every day last week, I picked her up, gave her a goodnight kiss and laid her in her bed before settling myself next to her, tickling her back or holding her little 4 year old hand for as long as she’d allow me to, waiting to hear her slow sleepy breathes that meant that I can move freely around the room again.
I labelled all her school clothes, organised her bag, and ironed and hung up her polo and pinafore for the next day ahead.
Every day last week, I finished the work I needed to finish before crawling in next to her, on her tiny toddler bed, just to savour her smell, her super soft skin and try and accept that my baby was starting school.
In the run up to all of this, it’s made me think back to how incredibly difficult, yet amazing this journey has been for the both of us. I still remember gently putting her in her car seat the day I brought her back from the hospital; adjusting her little hat to keep her head warm and her holding my little finger in her even littler hand.
I still remember the sleepless nights, how difficult that must have been for her, her teething, how I couldn’t breastfeed for as long as I wanted, how I weaned her off formula, how fussy she was with her food, her struggling to talk and then, the 27th of October last year.
We’re still only just starting our autism journey – there’s still so much for Isla to achieve and as far as she has come, I know there is still so far to go while we begin another journey that I truly hope will see her thrive, finally make friends and one that will allow her the same experiences as any other child.
She is such a special little girl and my heart bursts every time I think about how amazing she is – I never expected to feel so emotional about her starting school but it’s finally hit me. I can’t believe how quickly the last four years have gone and how much stronger we both are.
So here’s to you Isla, you’re growing up SO fast and I am so, so proud of you. <3
You are my sun, my moon, and all of my stars… – EE Cummings.