Becoming a mother has made me acutely aware of how quickly time flies. People tell you over and over how fast time moves post children, but you'll never understand until it starts happening before your own eyes. You blink and your newborn starts taking steps. The next day you wake up, and they are starting kindergarten. Then as swiftly as the sun sets you are sitting in the front row of Kindergarten Graduation. And here is where it hits you, this year has felt like a whirlwind, and it's only the beginning. Time will never slow down again.
I'm not good at endings. I'd almost speed things up so that they end abruptly than anticipate their finality. When my first baby started Kindergarten, I wasn't sad- I was excited about her new journey. I knew she was ready. I knew she would rock that year. What I wasn't prepared for was suddenly September became Christmas and then Summer. With the snap of your fingers, my kindergartener is now a first grader.
Missed moments flock to the forefront of my mind- gone like seeds of a dandelion blowing in the spring wind. The idea that we'd read every night, make it to lunch every week, or do pickups instead of bus rides. There aren't opportunities anymore; they've faded into the black.
While it is sad to reflect on those missed moments, I realize too, I'm only human and only one person. I cannot physically or mentally do and be everything for everyone at all times. All too soon there are no more school days left. Kindergarten begins and ends before you even realize where the time went. Floating back and forth between routines, mornings, and sports- it's crazy and overwhelming, leaving you reminiscing about the days gone by.
I am so thankful for each moment I have with my children and for the full life that we lead, but that doesn't take away the sting that with each passing day my children will never be as young as they are in this moment. Each time they lay their heads down, they will inevitably become older.
However, that is the Catch 22 - becoming older isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's different. Each stage of life has so much to offer. Something different than before. Each moment we will come to love for its own unique memory.
There are two gifts we should give our children. one is roots ,the other is wings -Anoymous
So my Dear Sweet Girl,
I wish I could soak up those moments. I wish I could sit forever holding you. I wish I could wrap you up and keep you with me forever. Unfortunately, that is not how time works, and it's not what parenting is about. You are meant to fly and fly you shall on your own two wings. You are strong, confident, and my amazing soon to be a first grader.
I am touched each day by the memories we share, the moments in between those long hours away. I soak up my time with you, and I will relish in you this summer. We will make memories as we always have, but now with more ferocity, because now I see that your little face isn't quite as round, your hair isn't quite as curly, and that you look much more like a big girl than a baby. I know that time will stop for no one- and these moments will all too quickly turn into memories, but these moments are what I live for.
You (and your brother) are the reason I smile, laugh, cry, get frustrated (especially in the morning); you've made me the mother that I am. Without these moments, without these changes, I wouldn't learn to adapt as you explore the world around you. The fact that your age isn't permanent is amazing and challenging, but it is what makes motherhood beautifully transient. It is also what makes our love last a lifetime.
The end of Kindergarten solidifies the fact that my days as your soul provider are limited. Our relationship will morph and changes as we both grow older. Right now, I am still the person you come to when you are hurt. The person you need to hold your hand when you are scared. The one you adore. But will I always?
It is this idea that saddens me. In one way, I know you will grow up to be that beautiful, strong, amazing woman I see inside your eyes. The glimpse of the woman that is growing behind those innocent, bright blue eyes. The loss of your innocence as you become more accustomed to a world that isn't perfect - far from it. In a world where you learn that others are still not treated as equals, a world that prides itself on self-importance, and money rather than love and compassion. A world that you have the ability to change. And a world that I hope I have prepared you for.
Being a parent means that your heart walks around each day outside of your body. But for now my girl, you are protected, you are happy, you are still innocent. My heart is still within my grasp. But with each passing day, you become tainted with the sadness, the hostility, that the world has become.
When you were born, I felt my heart melt inside me. It liquefied and when it came back together, it was no longer mine. It belongs to my children; it was forever changed by motherhood. Now, as you grow older, there are little moments where I cannot help but feel my heart melt over and over again. When you offer your brother a helping hand, say something adorable, or simply smile. This feeling - no matter how old you get - isn't something that will change.
I hope that with each day, as your parent, I work with your strong spirit to cultivate a loving, strong soul - one that doesn't bring any more darkness into the world, but only light. Life is a journey, a path that I cannot pave for you. Each day you slip further and further from the safety of the path I've created into the one less traveled that you created and decorated with as many colors as you can touch. Each year, you will become stronger, wiser, and you will become the change this world needs to see. I believe this. I know this.
I love you, my little first grader.
Photo Credit: Ashley W
Want to read more touching mommy moments? Check out Why Moms Need to Get in Front of the Camera.