Photo: A collaboration of Minor’s preschool class, slinky art! Slinky, paint, butcher paper and preschoolers. The fact that art was made on the paper and not all over my child is a miracle.
I have to stop a moment, take a breath and take stock of what happened this week:
- First: Ursa Minor had his last day of preschool on Tuesday. He’s officially a rising kindergartner.
- Second: Ursa Major lost his first tooth.
- Third: I started my very first professional writing class.
I was also reminded today that I’m coming up on a year as a small business owner. Don’t be too impressed. Then again, I’m feeling proud: I was paid for my writing this year. That’s something, right?
This was one of those weeks when I looked up from the marathon to see all the changes that have been going on in plain sight and yet have gone unnoticed. I’m not shocked by these three events. They are the culmination of many choices and much hard work. Each represent the direct results of so much time, energy and planning. Yet still, they’ve given me pause. They feel big. I know they aren’t huge, but they feel big to me and I’ve been thinking a lot about them.
Maybe it’s Major’s tooth that hurts my feelings the most. Sure, Minor entering Kindergarten is a momentous milestone, but there is something about Major’s body going through a change once again that makes me squeeze him a little more tightly and beg him to remain a baby. I feel like he wasn’t a baby long enough. The baby fat is long gone. The tastes and clothes are changing. The teeth feel like that one last “baby” thing and now they are leaving, too.
My Quiet Thoughts this evening are squarely on that moment when I looked at that child and noticed his change. I’ve wondered quite a few times in these last handful of days about why I was so shocked and if I’ll be shocked when the rest fall out. Why do the growth spurts seem to sneak up and go unnoticed until I have to go purchase that child new clothes? Why do some of the milestones come as almost an inevitability, yet others seem to fall from the sky seemingly on their own mysterious schedule?
I worry sometimes that I’m missing it. Then I tell myself that I’m letting the other mommies on the internet get to me. But then I really do wonder: when did I miss it? When did I miss all that time when he had all of his teeth? When did I miss the baby part? Did I completely miss it?
It’s nonsense, I know. I’ve been here for just about every single day of it. And yeah, I’ve been present for it, too. I’m not distracted. I’m in the trenches. Yet still, it hits me in the gut: we’re onto a new stage. He’s losing his teeth. He’s finishing kindergarten. He’s about to embark on his first summer as a reader. He’s growing, learning… thriving. Stuff is clicking and we’re so very lucky.
Yet still, it hurts. I’ll admit that it hurts. Children grow. Motherhood ends. The big picture and the mission are still clear, but sometimes the little details can trip you up.
My answer to Major’s growth has always been to try to grow myself. I want him and his brother to know that I’m working and changing, too. Starting my writing course on Wednesday has been daunting and I’m already feeling behind. I’ve been up to watch this week’s video, I took plenty of notes and now I’m looking at a weekend full of obligations but feeling an intense need for the quiet necessary to get some brainstorming done. I have so much to do before I can turn in my workbook on Tuesday. Missing my first deadline would be in really poor form, Dear Reader!
It’s a cool night here in Massachusetts, but the last for a little bit of time. A heat wave is on the way and, depending on who you ask, that’s either a wonderful thing or a miserable one. I’m looking forward to sitting in the shade and getting some knitting done tomorrow. The boys have big plans for the Eastern Fort, and I’m so grateful that it will provide the boys fun and shade over the next few days. Corn is in the grocery store and the grill has a new tank of propane. Summer is here, Dear Reader, and that’s a lovely thing.
On this warm June weekend, I wish you a very good book to read. I hope the story transports you to a different time and place, stirring your soul a bit. I wish you frosty-cold things, like good iced coffee and excellent gelato. I wish you a view of the ocean, preferably without a million people on the beach (who am I kidding?), with a breeze coming off the water to invigorate and cool. I wish you laughter: your own, of children, of the people that you love. Tell a good joke this weekend, Dear Reader: a corny one that you know will get a chuckle, and a great one that you know you’ve got in you. Tell a story to someone and make it all engrossing! I wish you the opportunity to perform a kindness, small and yet still powerful. I wish you a shy smile from across the room, the igniting moment when eyes meet unexpectedly and something that happens that is undeniable. I wish you a loving stroke of your hair, a hug that lingers and turns into something more, a sigh and a yawn, a settling quiet between two people who share a lot and sometimes only have a moment. Above all, I wish you the warmth of knowing who you are and how much you are loved. Someone in the world is thinking of you at this moment, remembering you fondly, wondering how you are. In your own way, you made the world a better place this week, Dear Reader. Someone noticed and someone is thankful for you. Trust yourself, love yourself. When you do, you light up the world for others.
Until Monday, stay cool and take care.