Tonight I am baking a cake for Little I’s last ever playgroup. I can’t believe that at the tender age of three, she is already too old for something! For the past week, every time I’ve thought about it, I’ve felt myself welling up. For two years it has been the special activity that we have done together every week, despite my work schedule chopping and changing. It’s been the one constant thing that I have preserved at all costs…but shortly it will be coming to an abrupt end.
Part of my sadness stems from the faces that we will no longer be seeing on such a regular basis. I know that we will keep in contact with the special ones, but it will now require time and planning to make sure that we still meet up, which is no easy thing when you’re trying to juggle work and a young child. I’m already realising that this is part of being a parent, in that your social circle shifts when your child’s life moves on. But it doesn’t make it any easier realising that some of Little I’s playgroup friends she has known since she was a few weeks old.
I’ve already experienced these emotions once before, when Little I turned one and we were shifted from the baby to toddler groups. Now that Little I will be entitled to Early Years Funding, it seems to be the thinking is that she no longer needs ‘play’ groups.
I’m not having a bash at the lovely retired women who run Little I’s playgroup by the way, as I’m full of gratitude and admiration for the love and commitment that they put into it. I completely understand why we must move on to make room for the new and smaller ones.
I’ve already written about Little I’s readiness for preschool, and she still says “time to leave, Mummy” within seconds of hanging up her coat. But I’m really going to miss having the opportunity to be with her at playgroup, despite my role there becoming less and less important over the past year. Tomorrow will be a reminder of her growing independence, as she begins to find her own way in this world. I’m sure I will shed a tear, along with some of my friends…