whenever someone asks me how old my kids are I say, 4 & 6. not like, 'eh they are oh......4 and 6' all nonchalant as if it's old news. instead it's more like, '4 & 6!' while slightly yelling and followed by a million invisible exclamation points. i mean, can you believe it? i'm reminded of this monthly as one of my passwords (OK, it's for my water and sewer bill just go ahead and break in and pay the heck out of it if you want) is '2 and 4'. how did 2 and 4 become 4 and 6?
how did i get here?
yesterday, alex started first grade. and it still feels like just yesterday she was tugging on my pant leg in the kitchen signing 'more' with her itty bitty fingers and then saying 'dee doo' (thank you) after handing her a drink.
last year, i cried for days before school started. i dropped her off, walked her to her room and was quickly 'shoo'd' away with a, 'mom i got this'. i had bought her
several new school outfits, a new backpack and lunch box. her hair was freshly cut and i left her there with all her baby teeth still in tact. i mean, she couldn't even read! i walked quickly from the school swallowing my sobs until i made it safely to my car.
this year, i left for work before the bus came and sean saw her on. she walked herself to her new classroom in the 1 new dress we managed to snag at target while picking up laundry soap. like a pro, she braved a new teacher and new classmates. when i picked her up that afternoon and asked her how her day was she said, 'you know...good. it's school. i only had 1 recess' with a bit of a lisp as she has one big fat front tooth and another dangling. she waved to her friends, dropped a few steps behind me and that was that.
how quickly my life has transformed from diaper bags and bottles, strollers and burp clothes to school, and homework. and soccer practice. and summer journals. what? I am nowhere ready for this but when in the world are we ever truly ready for big change. i look at ian daily with a feeling of loss as i prepare myself to next year walk him to his classroom and have him wave me off as if to say, 'you can't do this for me mom. just go'.
i know it's coming, like a giant freight train. and no matter how many times i sneak into his room at night and wrap myself around his tiny body, it's never tiny enough.
i'm thankful for work this week, for deadlines and due dates. i'm thankful for our busy schedule of work and soccer practice, birthday parties and distractions to keep me feeling like life is 'normal' when deep inside i feel like it's anything but.
being a working mom, i'm used to turning my children over each day. i'm used to seeing them off, and spending hours away from them at a time. and you'd think that the 'dreadful' day i like to call it, when I first had to leaver her at 4 months old would have prepared me for these milestones but it didn't. before you glance below at a photo sean took just moments before i had the biggest emotional breakdown of my entire life, please take into consideration the following:
- i was 25 pounds from pre baby weight
- sleep deprived
- owned a completely inadequate camera that used, wait for it....FILM.
- i obviously (apparently) WAY over-did it on the concealer and look far more like a geisha than a financial analyst.
- i'm lie smiling here because i was no kidding worried that i'd forever remember this day with horror, sadness and the 2 boxes of tissues i went through if i didn't smile
and now, i just see a fatty and a faker and so, with that...
it's pretty clear to me that alex was much more ready for first grade than she was for daycare that day. and here i am smiling for the camera yet again when all i want to do is cry, and steal my own child away forever.
i'm so proud of my girly. i hope that every year as we take these photos we are still smiling, that she still lets me hug and kiss her (eventually in private i assume) and that i always get to have a say in the first day of school outfit.