Ruby was a little newborn. It has always baffled me that my friends who are little and tiny have eight and nine pounders but a big,tall Dutch girl like me has had each baby at 6 pound 8 ounces (isn't that something?).

I remember I sent out my mum after she was born and we realized that she was just swimming in the 0-3 month clothes I had carefully washed and laid out. Mum came home with many outfits (first grandchild, after all) and one of the things was a little, teeny-tiny onesie that had little pink letters that spelled out, "I love you, I love you, I love...." And I would cuddle her close, and rub around that spiky black hair, and marvel at the truth of those words. I LOVED her, I LOVED her, I LOVED her, in a way that I never imagined possible. How amazing to feel so connected to my baby.

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I remember the first time I left her to go to Target on my own. It took less than an hour and I am sure I called three times, to make sure everything was going okay. The first time we left her overnight for our anniversary, I convinced Ben to head back first thing in the morning, right after our ham and cheese crepes downtown. The first time she went to Oma's for a few days by herself, when I was on bed rest with Jasper, I called every other hour or so to just see how everything was going (granted, those were some long, boring days).

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And now my baby girl is getting ready to go to kindergarten and I am feeling that pull again, my little bird hopping out of the nest a bit more.

She is thrilled. She is reading, ready to play in the school playground, and just mastered tying her squeaky new running shoes. She is so excited about being with her class, and learning things and doing more art.

I am not handling it so well. I am feeling a little anxious and am spying out everything related to my baby's new place. Thirty kids! I hope they had a teacher's aide or two! How experienced is her teacher anyway? What about those other kids...do they watch too much unsupervised tv? See, totally out of control and controlling! I am becoming the parent that I could spy as a teacher a mile away. Yikes.

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Just last night I was expounding on all my concerns to Ben and he just said, "Ruby has a good heart. She will be okay." And she will. She is smart. She has great ideas. When she gets carried away, she knows it. She cares for other kids. She knows what is right and good.

So I have to walk this out a bit better and let her grow and be challenged and support her along the way. And I will grow too, I am sure.

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What I am also sure of, is that there might be a few tears shed by someone in this family...someone other than this cute little cowboy (who I just had to throw in this post). Someone who remembers what that little bean in the "I love you" onesie smelled like, and who is so grateful for every day of watching her little girl grow up. What a gift from God my children are!

Ooooh, I am such a mess, aren't I?

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