I'm all kinds of emotional about it. I'm excited to see where this year takes her.
I know she's ready.
But I have to admit, I'm a little heartbroken over my baby taking this next step. The next step in her independence.
For so long she's been my little sidekick while the boys are at school.
Thankfully it's only two half days a week. So thankful for that.
I remember when I thought the whole "crying it out" method was a possibility when my babes were teeny. I remember standing outside Isaac's bedroom door and praying he would fall fast asleep on his own. He didn't. I stood there in agony as his little cries got louder and louder. I waited maybe fifteen minutes before I went in and scooped him up in my arms. I could always try again another day. Or never. I wondered if there was something wrong with me. Maybe I was a little too sensitive. After all, mamas I admired used this method and it worked wonders! I wondered if I would regret it. Regret going in and rocking him until the tears and whimpers subsided and he took that first tranquil deep breath. I could feel his whole body just relax as he inhaled my familiar safe scent. The scent that brought him comfort since the day he was born. He sank into the crook of my elbow, his legs dangling. I was all he needed. How could I not let him know I was right there. "Someday", I thought, "he won't be able to fit in my lap." Those legs will take him farther from me. Those arms will spread their wings and he'll fly in a new direction. I pray the comfort my kids have from me being right there allows them to soar. That they know we will always be there cheering them on, their biggest fans.
Isaac started third grade this year. How is that even possible?
And Gabe started kindergarten. A post all of it's own is needed for that.
Just look at those cherub cheeks! How can he be six already and loving kindergarten? What an honor it is to watch these little ones grow. I pray I won't let it slip away in the madness of being too busy. I pray I won't be so hurried that I miss out on all the little things. The things that change so quickly like the silly faces they make or how they went through their silly phases. The week they ran through the house in dress-up firefighter uniforms. The summer they wanted to play Scrabble every morning during breakfast. The times they wanted to scoot their beds together to make forts out of and watch Ice Age on the portable DVD player. It goes on and on. And I don't want to forget any of it.
And ya know what? I don't regret running in and holding them in my arms. I don't regret nursing them in the middle of the night. I don't regret it. I thought I was setting them up, that they'd never be able to self sooth. Now they all sleep through the night. They don't need me to come dashing into their rooms at the slightest cry. They are growing up. Now I look back on those times and think about it fondly. I have a slew of precious memories locked up in my heart that no one, not a soul is privy to. No one was there to witness those heavenly moments. The moments I felt the very most like a mama. The times I knew I was doing what I was put here to do. Those memories are all mine. What a gift it is to be a mama. May I never forget that.
These babies are my joy. I pray they know that no matter where life takes them. They are loved. Every last bit of them.
So, yeah, next week starts a new chapter for us. I can't wait to open it up and read the pages inside. It's gonna be great.