May 09, 2012

Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May, Olde Tyme it is A-Flying

The coming weeks are a bit bittersweet for me.

Captain will be finished with Kindergarten on the 23rd of this month.  I will have one more summer with my little boy before he embarks into the world of all-day school, friends, sleep-overs, and begins the trek towards not wanting those public shows of affection, and onto adulthood...

He will be 6 in just a few short weeks, and somehow, this birthday seems so much more momentous to me than 5, or even 1...somehow, knowing that come next fall, he'll be a first-grader - in school for 7 hours a day, eating lunch away from home, so much more time with adults that aren't me or BB, with children who come from homes with values and teachings different than ours - scares me.

This is really the first real test of my parenting - preschool at the Church, half-day Kindergarten with a teacher who has 3 kids of her own, roughly the same age as my own - somehow, those others don't really count - he was only in preschool for a few hours a few days each week, Kindergarten was only 3 hours each day...he still ate all his meals at home, I was able to speak with him about his adventures and all the things he learned, and the friends he made, games played, words said...

And also in one week, Princess will be done with this year of preschool.  Next fall, she'll be in Pre-K, 3 mornings each week.  At the end of the month, she'll be dancing in her first official recital - costume, hairstyle, even makeup...I'm a wreck!

Littlest One is cheeky, and already asking to go to school to learn like Princess.  She's potty training, and while I'm THRILLED at the thought of having diapers only during her naptime, and doing away with that last bit of babyhood, it's still tough...it's only been 6 years of diapers in our house - nothing compared to a friend of mine who is expecting her 7th child (their oldest is only 13) - but still a weird idea to contemplate - the not having to schlepp a diaper bag about with me all the time...

I think the hardest thing is that BB and I decided to sell our single, fancy schmancy stroller - the one that the car seat can clip onto...the one that Captain rode in until Princess was old enough to not be cradled next to my body in the sling, and we started using the snazzy double one...the one we took on our first excursions, our first plane ride, our first trip to the zoo, our first visits to the doctor...

I know I'm not alone in feeling this way about the gradual lessening of baby gear in our house, the seemingly not-so-gradual changes of little ones to big ones...Captain already has his "friend voice" and his "home voice" - the funny deepening voice and words he uses with his friends, and the more normal voice and Mama-calling at home - and he's already starting to ask me not to be so silly when his friends are around...and he is totally comfortable with heading off a distance to warm-up at baseball games, or ride his bike around, and asking about going to play with our neighbor boy...

Princess is starting to look like a young lady, and she's only 4 - I caught it yesterday at dance class, watching her twirl, and leap - long legs stretched out, and her hands held just so as they practiced their jetes and plies, arms gracefully curved during position work at the barre...

Littlest One even climbed up on the regular chair at the kitchen table the other morning and "read" to BB - turning the pages of a Dr Suess book that she knows by heart - complete with vocal inflection and attempts at different voices for different characters...

I think I'm just not ready to have my kids be quite so self-sufficient, and am sad that the decision to be done growing our family biologically is being taken away every day that we don't find out I'm pregnant...

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