Three and a Half

Three and a Half They said it would go fast.  They said the days are long, but the years are short.

I nodded and smiled.  I believed them.  Sort of.

It's just that it seemed you'd never sleep past 5 a.m. or stop spewing piles of spit-up on the floor or sit still long enough to read a full book.

But you did, eventually, do all of these things and so much more.  And now, you're three and a half and off to preschool, a toddler no more.  You are a bright, inquisitive, silly, creative little girl, and I love you so much that my heart feels like it might burst just thinking about it.

We weren't planning on sending you to preschool this year, but a spot opened up last-minute and your Daddy and I felt we were supposed to take it.  I didn't realize until the opportunity was presented to us how much I didn't want to let you go.

I knew you'd love it, that you'd enjoy the teachers and the new friends, the playground time and the crafts.  But I also knew that in sending you, your world would become a little bigger, that there would now be this part of your life I wouldn't get to experience with you and could only hear about from afar.

And as much as I've longed for your independence, for you to need me a little less, as much as I'm glad you no longer cry when I say goodbye, the honest truth is that it is also hard to watch you growing up, for I know that growing up is a series of leavings, of separations, of steps you'll take on your own in this wide, crazy world.