This year, Hana turns three.
I've been searching since last year for classes and activities that she can join and interact with other children, something that I can attend myself since at the time, she wasn't the sociable butterfly she's turned out to be. She used to dislike it when strangers tried to interact with her.
Sure, she'd say Hi if someone said Hi first but that was about it. Most times, she'd start whining and burying her face in my shoulder or insist on me carrying her, if she was standing or walking.
And then sometime this year, it all changed. She would be the first to say Hi to someone we bumped into, stranger or not, and it wasn't just greeting people. She'd actually try to strike up conversation as if she has known that person for ages. She'd start telling them where she was going and what she was going to do. She started calling for people by name - people other than anyone she's close to (our families). She started asking for our friends, people who she'd only met a few times in her life and had minimal interactions with, being so introverted before.
And even when we announced that we were going to visit or meet with someone new, she'd commit the name to memory and get excited about it. She was blossoming and from these instances, I could see how much she longed for interaction other than what she is used to.
So we've decided to send her to school starting June. My MIL found a nice kindergarten within walking distance of where we live. The class is small (four kids at the moment, with one joining in the next term, so with Hana it'll be 6 altogether) and there are two teachers watching them. The teacher in charge seems nice - the children seem quite attached to her.
And so there you have it. Hana starts school InsyaAllah.
How do I feel about letting this precious little girl go? I've got mixed feelings. Excitement - for her, and the opportunities she'd finally have to make friends and play with other children. Sadness that she's no longer a baby and no longer needs me in certain ways - there are finally things that I cannot personally give her, things that she needs other people besides her family, and of course, a certain sense of pride that she's finally ready, that she somehow made herself ready without help from me or her dad.
A part of me wants to keep her under my wing forever. But I know that doing that would be selfish. So as hard as it feels for me right now, I gotta let my little angel spread her wings and fly.