The End

This blog is now closed. The story continues over on Flip Flops and Flying Carpets.

Thank you for reading.

Starting Again

My big little girl started school, again. This time here in Dubai. She'd been counting the days from weeks before. She was so eager to meet her new friends and her teachers and start having fun. She was bored. There's only so much I could do to entertain two kids in a new country when it's too hot to do anything outdoors (and then Ramadan began and I completely gave up).

There were no tears. We knew there wouldn't be. She barely said goodbye at her classroom door, too thrilled to discover what adventures awaited her within.

I was worried that the long day would be too much for her. Longer than she's ever been away from me. She wasn't phased. She loves having lunch with her friends and her table manners have been praised (proud mummy), and she gets a three course meal every day. The child eats better than I do.

She started ballet classes last week. Seeing her in her tiny, sparkly tutu, those small ballet slippers, and a face full of excitement made my heart melt. She's so big, and yet she's so small.

Some afternoons, she gets home exhausted. There's been too much fun, too much learning, too much happening. The water system in the classroom's backyard gets mentioned a lot. She likes playing there, and the sandpit too. She talks about her friends and the things they've been up to. Olivia, Maya, Alice, Dauren, Matteo (her boyfriend, apparently), Mohammed, Oscar, Inez, Emmeline, Lexi and more.

Sometimes I look at her and she suddenly seems so different. Maybe somewhere in my mind I still think she's the little one year old I walked up and down Rochester High Street with, visiting the library, cafes, fish pond, so many times a week. Then I see her as she really is, almost four, and it takes me by surprise. Shock, almost.

I try to hug her for as long as I can - many times it's me drawing bedtime out - and when I'm lucky I get a tight hug back, and one of her trademark never-ending smooches on my cheek.

"How did you get so big?" I ask her.
"I grow every day and every night!"

Yes she does. She most certainly does.

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