My baby is finishing kindergarten and I’m a mess. Everyone tells you that time with children goes fast, but I didn’t realize just how fast until it already zipped past me waving goodbye. I was prepared for the first day of school tears, but the last day of school tears came out of nowhere. They’ve actually been coming off and on for a week now, but seriously, between the insane pollen count and decompressing from the end of graduate school, who can tell?
The reality is that my baby isn’t a baby anymore. A fact she happily declares at random moments whenever we’re together causing me just enough anxiety and pride that I can choke back the tears long enough to turn away so she doesn’t ask me if I’m crying again. I think she knows I am at this point, but I’ll keep my fantasy going a bit longer, thank you very much.
At Miss O’s six-year check-up, she answered the doctor’s questions without any hesitation, which on its own is a miracle, but also with a clear strong voice that told me her self-confidence is starting to shine through. She’s also paying attention to herself and caring for herself, as she should.
I realized I am so proud of all of us. We’re doing this! We’re making this parenting thing work! And then the big exhale came. The one that told me what I didn’t realize was that I’d been holding my breath for a whole year waiting to see if we made it to six.
We totally made it to six, y’all.
She’s happy and healthy and so full of love and imagination and everything I hoped she’d be. She is perfect and I’m still in love.
I have enjoyed walking her to school each morning, sometimes even in the rain or snow. Who knew?! And now I follow behind her as she scoots along on the bright pink Maxi Scooter she got for her birthday with her Captain America helmet. She managed to balance on the new bike her Grandy got her and can’t wait to show her cousins how well she can ride this summer at the family BBQ. We’ve met so many people in our neighborhood and I love seeing everyone at drop off and pickup. We hang out at school picnics and the never-ending stream of birthday parties and playdates together. Hubs and I have both volunteered in the school and Miss O’s classmates all know me and my extensive collection of Converse All-Stars.
This is what we moved here for. This is absolutely the Suburban Jackpot we were hoping to hit. This is actually better than I hoped for. For whatever barriers we’ve faced or however many times we’ve gotten knocked down, this is what we kept getting back up for. Each morning I walk with Miss O to school I am grateful for it all. I am finally content.
Miss O starts day camp in a week and she can’t wait. It’s her first time going to a camp that’s not daycare or preschool over the summer in the same building and classroom. We broke the bank on the one we chose, but I know it’ll be worth it. She’ll learn to swim, do arts and crafts and who knows what else. In fact, she’s so excited about camp that she’s already asking if she can go to sleep away camp! This child has never spent the night anywhere without at least one of us in the same building and all of a sudden, she’s ready to pack up her trunk and bunk up. I couldn’t be more pleased.
I hope she keeps that spirit. I hope camp does not disappoint her. I hope her first real summer is filled with adventure, imagination and all the ice cream the truck can deliver. I’ll be sitting in my office, working my tail off to pay for all that ice cream and looking forward to hearing all about her adventures. Apparently, being content makes me weepy, so I may have to get an ice cream sandwich I can hide behind while I cry a little. Miss O already knows to ask if they are happy tears or sad tears so my boss will do the same, right? Maybe I’ll grab another ice cream sandwich…