It's not that I love my third child more...
"Have you seen the preschool concert video Jane?" I was asked nonchalantly by a mother at school one morning, shortly after my youngest had started Kindergarten.
"Aaaah no" I replied, adding quickly with a flash of fear "Why do you ask?"
"Because, um, you were having a bit of a cry" she replied.
This was exactly what I had hoped would not happen. I knew they had taped the concert that day.
Because I did cry. Boy did I cry. I sobbed into my tissue as if I were at my life's end watching a tape of my life in fast forward.
It was the bloody song they all sang at the end of the concert that did it.
40 of these gorgeous little 4 and 5 year olds got assembled in their confounded cuteness and sang this infernal song which went something like:
"I'm a big kid now,
I've got my hat and my bag and my shoes
and I'm ready for school
I'm a big kid now".
Tear jerking stuff if you've ever heard it.
This was however the third time I'd sat through such a concert. And the first two times, I was FINE. Totally fine. In fact, just quietly, quite happy that one little body would be out of my hands five days a week in the near future.
It isn't that I love my third daughter any more than the others. I don't. I in fact ascribe to the theory that you love them all equally, if differently.
She simply was my BABY and this was clear and irrefutable evidence that my baby was really a baby no longer.
It's funny how when you're in the thick of babies and toddlerdom and preschoolers you can sometimes feel that this is a phase almost to be endured in some ways. Yet once it's gone you yearn for those dimpled bottoms, first steps, and tantrums on the supermarket floor.
Looking now at my 11, 8 and 6 year olds, I can see that in ten years time my gaze will fall upon a 21 year old woman and I'll wonder how on earth we got there so fast.
But, I will still be her mum. And I'm sure I'll be honoured to be associated with such a wonderfully smart and grounded young woman.
How do you react at school performances? How are you feeling about your children growing up?