They said there'd be something very different about the day your last baby heads off with their tiny school bag, swimming in a brightly coloured jumper and dandering on in to big wide world of preschool.
Oh how right they were.
When Trinity headed off, Saoirse was still tiny. My mothering wasn't redundant for a few hours a day. She was nursing around the clock, barely eating solid food and had the brightest toothless smile in the whole world.
We're a week in to preschool.
Each morning we drop off her big sister, they hug, and we have a precious five minute drive to the preschool, just the two of us.
She tells me how excited she is to see her teacher and play in the new tree house. She tells me how much she loves showing the other three year old's where the toys go back when play time is over and it's time to go outside again. She tells me that some of her tiny friends are a bit nervous and that it's okay because everybody feels nervous sometimes. She tells me that yesterday, she hugged a boy who was sad and he didn't like it so she won't hug him today. She tells me that her teacher is the kind one who has her hair in the ponytail like her own. She tells me that she loves going to playschool and especially loves break time when she can get a surprise and see what's for lunch!
I'm hearing her sweet voice behind me, full of enthusiasm and excitement.
This morning her words flew over my head and what I heard was something I needed to hear.
"You have committed yourself to parenting in a way that means now I feel safe and secure in this big world. I trust adults, I trust my peers and I trust that you'll come back for me.
You have raised me to respect my space and that it's my responsibility to put things back from where I take them. I am confident that this is the right thing to do and I demonstrate that by reminding my peers.
I'm emotionally aware. I see other people's struggles. You have instilled empathy and compassion in me and I'll make a difference to a person today, three year old's are people too.
I also respect other people's boundaries and autonomy.
I'm a bit like you, Mama. I don't do names but I am drawn to people I can identify with. How they treat people with kindness and whether or not they have a cute ponytail is what I remember.
I'm optimistic, joyful and hopeful. I'm fun-loving and caring and I'm three.
You're not doing so bad Mama, even if I don't need you so much any more."
I choked back the tears again this morning as I Less-Than-SuperMum style pulled into the preschool yard right at gate closing time because I'm also a flawed, always late kind of Mum. Saoirse screeched "You're so great Mama, we're the first ones here I think!" I responded "Um, no baby I think we're the very last ones here!"
Her response: "It's okay Mama, you tried your best and we weren't first. But we did get here and it's going to be a great day!"
How's your first week of preschool going?