My dearest Ava, It’s been a whole three months since we said our goodbyes at the airport and time has waited for neither of us. Just the other week you began your Pre-K programme, which is actually pre-school and not a Special Kellogg’s diet for toddlers that the name would suggest. Can I even call you a toddler anymore? I suppose the correct term to use now would be “pre-schooler”.

Before the move you had long been campaigning to begin your education. Whilst your mother and I had enjoyed guiding you during our day to day teachings, we knew you were ready for this next step. I shall always remember the first time you were able to count to fifteen as we climbed the stairs to our apartment. Such a proud moment. Sure, it wasn’t in the right order and appeared to be the product of your own personal remix, but that didn’t change the way I felt about you.

Your mother has always been the patient one when it comes to teaching you new things, something that I’m sure you will discover for yourself in due course. Tensions even came to fruition one drizzly afternoon as you and I attempted to put the finishing touches to a 49 piece Tinkerbell jigsaw puzzle. I don’t want to take all the credit in this situation, but I had successfully completed 99% of the puzzle single-handedly before I entrusted the final piece to you, my beautiful assistant. This is no menial thing. It’s like offering someone your last Rolo. After suffering an excruciating ten seconds (it felt like twenty) of watching you aimlessly fisting the final piece at the hole like some awkward flashback, something inside me could no longer be contained.

“Logic, Sweetie. Logic,” I sighed, a word your mother had expressly forbidden me from using after the last incident, no doubt only twenty minutes previous when you got mad at your Woody soft toy for not being able to stand during the afternoon tea party. “Woody doesn’t have a spine, Honey. Logic,” Something Woody and I seem to have in common.

“If you say the word Logic to our daughter one more time, I will personally shove your head up your ass. How’s that for logic?” Your mother snapped from the kitchen counter, butter knife on full display. I remained silent of course, despite the sadistic little voice whispering inside my head.

“Well, that’s not very logical,”

Your first day of pre-school was a momentous occasion, starting off with the obligatory photo of you posing proudly in your uniform in the carefully chosen, neatest corner of the house. The excitement on your face was overwhelming. Such pride. It’s how I imagine I look when I put on my own uniform at the start of my working day. In a distant parallel universe. A parallel universe where Skittles are just Skittles and analogies make mathematical sense.

I had my worries about your first day of school. I’d worried that you would feel scared after the initial excitement had worn off, or that you would find it difficult to settle into this new environment. Perhaps one of your classmates would be disgruntled at another Monday of finger painting and come to school packing a high calibre assault rifle. Some kids really don’t like Monday’s.

All of my irrational fears and worries were laid to rest as soon as I got word of your first day. It was then that I knew that you had an aptitude towards learning that far exceeded your years.

“She must have found library time boring because she just laid herself down and took a nap,” Your teacher said. It was a relief to know you’d already made yourself at home.

Since this little hiccup you have awoken each new dawn with a look towards the school day ahead. It’s a pleasure to know that you laugh and play and learn new things each and every day, and the enthusiasm in your voice is a beautiful thing to hear. I look forward to many more stories of your adventures and learnings as your imagination is opened up to a whole new world of possibilities.

You may have started this new phase of your life struggling to piece together the puzzle of Tinkerbell and her fairy kind (don’t be disheartened, you are only three), but without even trying, you pieced together the final part of my jigsaw heart.

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