There comes a time in every parent’s life when you are suddenly hit with the fact that your baby- the tiny bundle of joy you have nurtured and loved since the moment you laid eyes on them, is in fact no longer a baby.
That moment hit me when my five-year-old brought home proofs of her kindergarten graduation photos.
Damn, that hits you in the feels.
No matter how corny or dare I say, overkill a kindergarten graduation is, to me it was a huge wake-up call. I can’t deny the photographic evidence that she is growing up. When she started kindergarten I was able to tell myself it was no big deal. It’s just kindergarten. She isn’t really going to school. She is still existing in the sheltered world of a fenced in play yard and early dismissal. But next year is the real deal. She is going to be going into a new French immersion program (better brush up on mon Francais) and will be taking the bus. It’s just another step away from her mama and towards independence.
Lord, make it stop.
I am lucky enough to stay at home with my kiddos and I will admit, there are days when I cannot wait to drop my precious darling off with her teacher. But when things like this happen it seems to hit me hard.
Where has the time gone?
When I look back on my five years of motherhood it seems like the first five years consisted of my children needing me constantly. From breastfeeding and rocking to diaper changes and tantrums. Their calls of ‘mommy,’ were constant, although often overwhelming, a consistency in my life. Now five years later, it seems that I am entering a new phase of motherhood.
When my daughter began kindergarten she cried the first two weeks when I dropped her off. Now when I pick her up the first words out of her mouth are often requests to hang out at her best friends’ houses after school.
“Why don’t you have your friends over at our house?” I will often offer.
“Our house is boring,” she will inform me, pouting.
One boy in particular whom she has a very dramatic on again off again relationship with I was introduced to after school.
Not only are we boring but we pale in comparison to her many boyfriends. One boy in particular whom she has a very dramatic on again off again relationship with I was introduced to after school.
“This is my mom,” she said proudly of her latest crush.
I blanked and in true nerdy mom fashion, I gave him a high five. I’m not ready for this crap. Give me at least a decade to prepare.
This new phase isn’t all bad though. My girl is now able to play hockey with the boys next door (another dramatic crush), loves to help tidy up the house, and will write me notes at school telling me how much she loves me while she is gone. I know we are rounding the corner towards the ‘sweet spot’ of parenting when kids still love to hang out with you but are old enough to do activities you will both enjoy. Still, part of me will always long for the days of rocking them to sleep and kissing every boo-boo instantly better.
For now, I will allow myself a cathartic cry and then order the overpriced prints. All I can do is enjoy today, for I am sure soon enough I will be wondering where my sweet five-year-old went.
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