Last night my husband and I attended a meeting about kindergarten readiness at our daughter’s preschool. There was a list of things, academics, social, and physical signs to help us gauge if we think our child is ready to fly. How are we here already? It dawned on me that I have eight short months left with her all to myself before she enters the world of all-day school. While a tiny part of me rejoices for some extra freedom in my schedule, there’s also a huge part of me mourning the fact that my baby is blossoming into a big girl. She already is.
Before she was born, we made the decision for me to hang my teaching hat for a while so I could stay home with her. It was absolutely the best decision we could have ever made. There have been days when I’ve questioned my sanity, but that’s part of the job. If we weren’t questioning ourselves, we wouldn’t get better, would we? By no means has this been easy, but it’s just a season.
I remember all too well begging for time to speed up when I was at the end of my pregnancy with her, so ready for her to be born. Little did I know, I’d be begging for time to slow down as soon as she was out. Her first smile, her first laugh, her first roll, her first time to sleep through the night, her first time to sit, her first time to crawl, her first time to stand, her first time to walk, her first time splashing through the water, her first time to run, and her first time to ride a bike are ever embedded in my heart.
I’ve been teaching and guiding her all that she needs to know to the best of my ability, and with each lesson she learns, she runs with it. She’s determined, persistent, confident, polite, kind, and loves Jesus. So no matter how much she drives me crazy some days, I would be lost without her. After all, it’s just a season.
I think about how I’m going to blink and she’s going to be in a wedding dress. It all goes by too fast. It went from me having to hold her hand to walk to those little fingers pushing mine away because, “I can do it myself, Mom.” But we’ll still hold hands to get through the bumpy parts and the scary parts of life. And one day, she’ll hold tiny little hands to help them do the same.
Our play room is filled to the brim with Barbies, Legos, crayons, dolls, princess dresses, Hot Wheels, and super hero capes, and it sometimes always spills over to other parts of the house, making me absolutely bananas. The laundry never ends, restaurant outings are always eventful, and church service is a mess, but it’s just a season.
Now with her little brother right behind her, I get to do this whole motherhood thing all over again. With the same aches and joys that I’ve had with her, I’m sure I’ll have with him, in a completely new way. My children are the biggest blessing I never knew I needed. Loving them is easy, but parenting is hard.
I’ll forever be their biggest cheerleader, their biggest fan. Even when we get to the hard parts of the teen years, the eye rolls, and the big mistakes, there’s nothing they can do to make me love them any less. I know I’m going to fail them 10,000 times, and they’ll one day learn that I don’t have all the answers, but one day, they’ll understand. When we’re passing through a storm, I’ll do my best to remember, it’s just a season.
But for now, I’ll never forget my baby girl singing her heart out into her pretend microphone, twirling around carefree, her long uncombed dark hair dangling in front of her face. I’ll never forget the times she shushed me from singing in the car because it was “her song.” I’ll never forget the time she needed bandaids for all her baby dolls. I’ll never forget the time she begged me for “sister time,” one-on-one time. I’ll never forget the time she cupped my face into her hands telling me, “I love you, mama.” And I’ll never forget the overwhelming feeling of wanting to bottle up each of those scenes in my mind forever.
Eight months. Eight months until she spreads her wings into a whole new world of wonder and worry. She’s ready. My mama heart is slowly getting there. When I’m aching for time to slow down, I’ll remember to embrace the now. We’re still working on that whole sleeping in her bed the entire night thing, but it’s just a season.
Jesus, take the wheel.
Photography by Pink Posh Photography