Friday, September 9, 2011

They just keep comin'...

The changes.  These changes just keep coming.

I dropped Tucker off on Tuesday for his first day of preschool.  He was all smiles.  And the report on the way home: "The work wasn't that hard, Momma."

 By Thursday, he was eager to go back.  As we approached the drop off, I saw all the other parents walking their children to the door, holding their hand.

Okay, we can do that, too.

From the backseat I hear , "Momma, can I walk up there by myself?"

"Sure, buddy!"

He grabbed his backpack, jumped out, and smiled and ran all the way to the front door.  In a way, it was more emotional than walking him to the door holding his hand.  And it was complete reassurance that waiting a year to send my summer-birthday-boy to school was the absolute right thing to do.

These moments of change are happening every day around here...


Wednesday evening, in celebration of a much needed relief from the summer's heat, we took bikes to the church parking lot.  Noah scored a big-girl bike this summer.  Her old training wheels don't touch the ground.  So, it was time to really ride that bike.

I expected that after a long day at school, her endurance for bike riding would be short-lived.

Wouldn't ya know, that little gal proved me wrong!  She was wobbly and wiggly, oh sure.  And she took plenty of spills.  But she jumped right up and persevered.

"I've almost got it, Mom!" she'd yell from across the parking lot.  Sure enough, after a bit of support from Dad, she was riding the length of the parking lot.  (And then crashing clumsily and getting up to do it again.)

We returned the next night for another go-round.  That little gal could make it two complete laps around the parking lot.  (Before crashing clumsily and getting up to do it again.)

 Like I said, these changes are happening fast.  Daily, in fact.


And while it's sad to watch them take these first steps from the nest, how beautiful and rewarding it is to watch them begin to fly.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Kindergarten sure changes things

Noah started kindergarten.  Two weeks ago.  She's been a full-fledged kindergarten student for two whole weeks.  I'm almost getting used to the idea.

Noah is the sort of daughter who any mom with heart-tugging-prone-to-tears emotional attachments to her first born baby should feel blessed to have as their first baby.  And I do.

It makes the "sending them out the door to a school you're completely unfamiliar with and teachers and staff you barely know" much easier.  (I have control issues, I know.  That's why I had to stay home with my kids.  I like to be in charge.).

But, as I was saying, it's easier to let go because Noah's a naturally bright little gal.  And she's socially confident.  (Have you met her Daddy?)  I know she'll be a good student.  So long as her academic motivations conquer her social motivations. 

Two weeks in, and she's mastering the life of a kindergartener.  Oh sure, she's had some after-school meltdowns that remind me of her toddler days.  But the girl's completely exhausted.  Bedtime is no longer a battle.

Aside from Noah's personal transition to school, and my emotional transition to mom-with-school-aged daughter, it seems we're all feeling the effects of an adjustment to school life.

The two younger kids are up and at 'em with Noah.  (Or earlier.)  Breakfast is wrapped up by 7:15, and we send Brent and Noah out the door by 7:45.  It's not that we didn't have a schedule before, it's just that preschool didn't start until 9:00.  There was time for some play, or cartoons, or an extra pancake.  Our day is certainly much quieter.  Tucker and Nell miss their buddy.  She was the ring leader for the really fun stuff - like digging in the mud and turning the living room into a vet clinic.  And now, nap time comes quickly after lunch so we can make it to the 3:05 dismissal. 

Oh, dismissal.  The time of day when every parent in town congregates at the same intersection.  It's a lovely sort of chaos.

Then there's Brent.  His entire morning routine has been over-run by our kindergarten student.  Mornings have never been his thing.  Now they come earlier.  He has to get to work on time.  And he doesn't have enough time to swing by his favorite convenience store for his morning Diet Dr. Pepper.  Poor fella.  I'm making him coffee each morning to try to cheer him up.  But now all my favorite coffee thermoses are lost in his office.  And, do you know how hard it is to try to enjoy my own morning coffee without my favorite thermos?

Sheesh.  Who knew kindergarten had such over-reaching effects?

In four more days, Tucker will start preschool.  That will leave Nell and I alone for two mornings each week.  That'll certainly be something different.  Completely different.  A thought that I couldn't have comprehended when she was born two-and-a-half years ago.

I guess you could say things are changing around here.  As a mom who likes to be in control, it's trying on me to let my little ones take these first steps out into the world.  How thankful I am for the time I've invested in them.  Albeit it frustrating and isolating at times, I know I'm completely responsible for my children's early, formative years.  The good and the bad.  I'm 100% accountable.  I wouldn't have had it any other way.