My little girl is growing up.
She only turned 4 in March and I'm now facing a real emotional struggle.
A struggle of happiness and proudness but also a struggle of sadness at letting go.
We moved house just 3 weeks ago and it seemed this weekend, after the children finished school for the summer on Friday, that they all took to the outdoors. There are a lot of children of all ages living here and our next door neighbours little boy, who is 7, seems to really like MC.
They first met briefly on Saturday morning as I was popping out to the shops with her quickly. We hadn't been home long before there was a knock at the door.
"Can MC come out to play?"
Before long there were 4 kids in an out of our house and garden. Cries of "We are just going to so and so's house to play on the trampoline", "We are just going to the park","Can we have buckets and spades to collect some rocks?","Can we have ice lollies?".
It was exhausting but it was also lovely.
I know that this is now our life.
The children were 6, 7 and 8 so all older than MC but they were brilliant with her. I watched her play from the window. So grown up but also so small.
We are lucky that we live in a really safe community and we live right in the centre of a quiet cul-de-sac drive with a park opposite.
It doesn't stop me worrying though.
It all feels very alien to me. I don't know if I'm quite ready to be letting her go just yet.
She's my baby. I know she'll always be my baby girl but she's growing up so so fast.
Even tonight, at 7.30pm they called for her. Today I had the boy from next door here for lunch and then the boy down the road walking in the French doors later in the afternoon to come play.
I know that the summer holidays are only just beginning and she'll be making even more friends with the other children who are closer to her own age. I know she's got her head screwed on for a 4 year old but she's also easily led and distracted as any child her age can be.
She starts full-time school in September and I was going to struggle a bit letting her go then, but it seems I've lost her already.
I'm letting her go but tonight I'm holding her tight.
As I sit here typing this she's in my bed, still awake, as we've stayed up to watch Toy Story and the Royal Baby coverage whilst Daddy is away.
I don't think I'm really ready to let go just yet.