Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Last Year

As I see countless “first day of school” photos on FaceBook today (and probably will tomorrow and the next day), I am acutely aware that this is the last year I’ll have before my first baby is in school, real school, all day long.  Kindergarten probably won’t be much of a change for Charles – he’s already in full-day daycare – but it’s a milestone for me.


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Batman & Superman chapter books from Costco.  CHAPTER BOOKS.  My, he is getting old! 


I’m still a mom of preschoolers.  I think that still qualifies me as a “young mom” – not because of my age, but because of the ages of my children.  None of Charles’s activities are very organized right now; we’re thinking of doing gymnastics again for a month or so, and he’ll start swim lessons again in January, but we don’t have weekly or twice-weekly soccer practices or piano lessons or, you know, school that I can’t just let him skip for fun so we can go to the zoo.  I’m not tethered to much of a schedule yet.


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Imagine Children’s Museum in Everett – Charles and I built that plane.


The work of raising kids seems to get different as they get into school.  Charles is already asking more difficult questions, wanting to know the whys and hows of things like life and death or the differences between a jet engine and our car’s engine.  But he doesn’t have homework, his preschool is small (not several hundred kids, like he’ll see in school next year), his teachers are the same ones he’s had nearly his entire life, and there’s still a nice little naptime built into his day.  Less stress for me, I’m sure.


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Ice cream at the Skagit County Fair


I’m not so much worried about next year as I am mindful of the changes that will be upon us in one year.  People are always saying stupid things to moms (shoot, I’ve probably said them myself) like, “enjoy every moment, it passes so quickly!” or “oh, that stage is so precious and so fleeting!” and as annoying as those well-intended expressions are (usually said to a mom who is on her last nerve carting two wild kids through a grocery store after a refused nap), I get it.  I have looked back on periods of life with my babies and thought about how quickly it passed, how much I wish I could go back and snuggle that small child to sleep just one more time, regardless of how tired I know I was at the time.  Or how much I needed a shower or a drink.


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Jamie figured out the amazing French fry/ice cream combo all by himself.


It’s customary to start a new year with resolutions.  It’s the new school year, and I have a resolution: to take full advantage of this, Charles’s last preschool year.  More trips to the zoo, more afternoons at the park, more books, more ice cream dates.  Time seems to pass faster each year, month, and day.  I don’t want to miss any of it.


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He’s far more enthused about the pony ride than he looks.  I promise.

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