My daughter, Laetitia, will be turning five next month. I always look upon her as a sensible and independent child, for someone her age.
So comes a chance for me to find out if she is really as sensible and as independent as I thought she will be. Earlier, Laetitia and I were making our way to her ballet class, which is situated about 8-10 minutes walk from our condo.
Just shortly after we crossed the road to the opposite side of the street from our house, I asked if she would like to try going to the ballet school on her own and I will pick her up when her class ends. To my surprise, she said "OK. Bye, see you later!" And she picked up her pace and quickly overtook me.
I walked behind her and reminded her to watch out for cars near the car-park entrance to the mall as she quicken her footsteps as though she was trying to shake me off. She was skipping more than 5 metres ahead of me when she turned around, and asked me, "Mommy, why you following me? Where are you going?"
"I am not following you, I am heading for the mall." I lied.
I saw her zipped through the busy mall, cutting across it to get to the next building. While all this time, I crept behind her, hiding behind pillars, ducking my way through the crowd to get ahead of her so that I can conceal myself to 'spy' on her. I can't help it, I can't say that I was prepared for this. Well, I am entitled to worry, you know.
She walked confidently, crossed the road with caution, waited for the lift among strangers and she reached her class safe and sound, all the while unaware I was watching her from afar.
I bought ang ku kueh, one of her favourite snack and waited patiently for her class to end. She was the first to charge out from her class. I hugged her and told her I was so proud of her for making her own way to class today. She smiled and told me she want to go to ballet class on her own again next week.
At that instance, I felt joy, intertwined with a tinge of sorrow, it was almost like I could taste how a mother would feel seeing her own daughter in wedding gown, marching down the aisle. That kind of pride mixed with a sense of loss.
OMG! My daughter has grown up!
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