Family Kitty Motherhood Photography {the ordinary moments}

Five little words


I had expected to feel very emotional about Kitty starting school.  In the days and weeks running up to the big day I’d look at her again and again, one moment seeing my tall confident daughter, and the next, the tiny baby that used to fit into the crook of one arm, or the toddler that would bumble across the room to me with arms outstretched, all enormous cheeks, bright eyes and wonky pigtails, and wonder how we got here, how five years has passed in the blink of an eye.  I even packed a hankie in my bag on Sunday night, in between making up the batter for a celebratory Mickey Mouse waffle breakfast, and laying out her school uniform and her bag and twitching at it to make sure it was perfectly straight and orderly, as if the way her uniform sat overnight would somehow guarantee its tidyness over the next seven years.

But when we woke up on a bright sunny Monday morning there was nothing but excitement in the air.  Kitty was up and dressed in a flash, and was ready so early that we actually ran down to the village shops for a couple of bits and pieces we needed, just to stop her climbing the walls.  On the way, and on the way back we bumped into friends who congratulated her on her first day and told her how wonderful it was going to be, and waved to other children in uniform and smiled to the parents that we don’t yet know.  We’re part of the club now and it felt like the very start of our whole family becoming even more enmeshed in the fabric of our village life, not just a new adventure for Kitty.

And then to school itself.  Kitty ran in quite the thing, found her peg (she has a butterfly as her picture, a wonderful coincidence that felt like a good omen), and ran into her classroom.  We stayed for a few minutes, during which time she entirely ignored us in favour of making a marble run with her teacher and a couple of classmates and when Elma ran over to hug her goodbye and we waved and blew kisses she looked at us as if to say “oh, you’re still here?”

And that was that.  Walking home both H and I found we were whipping round, looking for her, trying to count two to make three; after a summer where we were only very rarely not together as a five, it did feel very strange to be only four.  Strange, but never sad, and I wasn’t biting my lip or blinking back the tears, just happy.

I think first days can be like that though; the emotion is in the anticipation, and when it comes to the day itself, excitement and novelty wins through.  And so the week cantered on, and we got used to the early walks in the sunshine, the quieter mornings, chatting to the other parents at the gate, piecing together our children’s days from all the little snippets of conversation from the previous afternoon, the moment when they burst out of the classroom door, scanning faces looking for the right ones, and the walk home with happy detours to the play park with her friends.

Kitty ran out to me on Friday, hair escaping from her ponytail, shirt half in, half out, and before I could so much as give her a hug she’d flung her bag down on the floor and was diving into it.

“Mummy! I made you a card!” she said brandishing it at me.  “It says ‘I like cuddles’ I think!”

Space for the Butterflies - five little words

It does on the front, more or less, neatly embellished with two paw print hole punches.

And then I turned it over:

Space for the Butterflies - five little words


I luv yo”

and her name down the bottom.

I was sunk.  Completely and utterly unable to do more than just pull her in for a tight tight hug and wait for the lump in my throat and the prickling behind my eyes to fade.

It’s not just that it’s the first piece of writing that she’s done at school, and it’s not just that it’s probably the first time she’s written “I love you” either at all or without having an adult write it down first so she can copy, although those are both huge things.  It’s that she chose to write it to me.


Because I think when you’re the stay at home parent you’re the constant, the one who is always there, who doesn’t have much novelty value and who, because she’s also running the house, cooks meals, does the laundry, cleans the house and has this really annoying habit of suggesting that the toys might like to hop back in the box at the end of the day.  I’ve always thought that, from Kitty’s perspective, I supply her needs, but that it’s Daddy who supplies her wants.  It’s Daddy who can push her higher and higher on the swings, or will take her off to paint in the studio for a couple of hours, or take her to the shop for milk and butter and come back with more contraband of a chocolatey nature than Mummy would ever ever allow.

And it’s not that I don’t want her to adore her Daddy, or that I doubt that she loves me or something daft like that, I know that she does and I wouldn’t change her relationship with H for the wide world.  It’s simply that in writing   to me it felt like she was telling me that she gets it, she can see what I do, and it matters.

It is and will always be one of my most treasured possessions.

Space for the Butterflies - five little words

I love you too my darling girl.





You Might Also Like

  • Katie @mummydaddyme 13/09/2015 at 8:32 am

    Gosh I am an emotional wreck this week Carie, this made me cry. So beautifully written and I am so pleased Kitty got on well on her first week at school. I also got a card with a photo of Mads on the front on Friday and it too will be one of my most treasured possessions. I am so very proud of her and it sounds like you most certainly are of your big girl too. Here’s to a new adventure for them and us. xx

    • Carie 14/09/2015 at 11:36 pm

      Aww how sweet – I love the little bits and pieces like that, I know they’re the things I’ll want to have to flick through in 20 years time and remember how little she is right now!

  • Beth @ Twinderelmo 13/09/2015 at 8:33 am

    Oh how lovely does she look? I love that she chose a butterfly peg too. That card is so beautiful and what a wonderful message. I like you would keep the card forever as its so lovely to have things to look back on that bring back such wonderful memories. Hope she loves next week too xx

    • Carie 14/09/2015 at 11:35 pm

      Well one day in and she’s still loving it so fingers crossed

  • Notmyyearoff 13/09/2015 at 9:08 am

    Aww that card is just amazing and put a lump in my throat too. What a wonderful thing to get in the first week. It’s felt a bit draining here emotionally, with the little roller coaster of emotion and anticipation. It was a good first week though I think and I really hope that’s a sign of things to come.

    • Carie 14/09/2015 at 11:34 pm

      Rollercoaster is the word for it – I think we were all exhausted by the end of the week!

  • Rachel @ The Ordinary Lovely 13/09/2015 at 11:41 am

    Oh Carie, I think I would have wept on the spot. My goodness, they know how to tug at our heartstrings, don’t they?! You’re right. In our house, I’m the constant and Paul is the novelty factor so they can’t get enough of him when he’s home. I wonder how things will change in your house when you go back to work?

    • Carie 14/09/2015 at 11:16 pm

      It’s going to be really interesting isn’t it – I think I’m going to get to be the fun one for the change!

  • Yanic 13/09/2015 at 12:19 pm

    Simply beautiful Carie… *hugs*

    • Carie 14/09/2015 at 11:10 pm

      thank you 🙂

  • LauraCYMFT 13/09/2015 at 3:57 pm

    Awww so sweet! Love that photo of Kitty! She looks so happy.

    • Carie 14/09/2015 at 11:05 pm

      It’s from her first day – she was so excited!

  • juie 13/09/2015 at 5:39 pm

    oh bless her the card is lovely , and that she is settling into school so well . my 4 year old daughter started school too last week and loves it too , I remember the first time I realised one of my sons gets it and how I fit in when he was 7 and had to write a piece at school on who inspires him and he wrote about me and another time wrote a poem about his hero and that was also about and for me it simply magic and I will treasure them for ever.

    • Carie 14/09/2015 at 11:03 pm

      Oh what a sweetheart – I love that you are his hero!

  • Kerri-Ann 13/09/2015 at 6:14 pm

    Aww such a beautifully written post. Here is to our little ones taking new chapters in their stride and showing us how it is done. I hope this week is just as successful #TheOrdinaryMoments x

    • Carie 14/09/2015 at 11:00 pm

      Fingers crossed for all of us 🙂

  • Claire @ Clarina's Contemplations 13/09/2015 at 7:07 pm

    Oh Carie! I’m a wreck! How wonderful! So glad it’s all gone well!xxx

    • Carie 14/09/2015 at 10:59 pm

      Thank you – it’s such a relief to see her happily settled 🙂

  • Kim 13/09/2015 at 8:02 pm

    This is beautiful Carie. A card to treasure.

    • Carie 14/09/2015 at 10:55 pm

      thank you 🙂

  • Mandycharlie 13/09/2015 at 11:40 pm


    • Carie 14/09/2015 at 10:54 pm

      I know!

  • barnraised (Jen) 14/09/2015 at 3:49 am

    That is so sweet!!

    • Carie 14/09/2015 at 10:51 pm

      thank you 🙂

  • You Baby Me Mummy 14/09/2015 at 8:55 pm

    Such a beautiful post hun. I will be a mess when this is us. She is so beautiful x

    • Carie 14/09/2015 at 10:45 pm

      thank you – it’s such a big milestone isn’t it!

  • Suzanne3childrenandit 15/09/2015 at 8:11 am

    This is such a beautiful post Carie and you captured all the emotions of a SAHM – you certainly transported me all the way back to those days! I’m so glad that Kitty seems to be settling in well, she certainly looks very pleased with herself 😉 x

    • Carie 15/09/2015 at 10:55 pm

      thank you – so far so good!

  • sally 27/09/2015 at 12:05 am

    Ahhh, beautiful and a card to treasure. Somehow children seem to know, without even realising it, when to give us a bit of a lift as parents – like the first baby smiles just when you feel you’re so tired you just can’t manage another night of feeding. Maybe it’s something very clever in human dna.

    • Carie 27/09/2015 at 3:11 pm

      Maybe. I’m convinced children are more aware than we sometimes give them credit for and Kitty has always been quite good at reading people – H is too so there must be something in the genes!