I wrote this article over a year ago — in early July 2019 as we were preparing for the Little Miss to start Kindergarten. And, here we are, a year later. She’s in 1st Grade now and Big Brother is in 4th. And, it’s 2020, so it all looks completely different. But, still, it’s Back to School time (however that may look this year) and I know many of you have littles starting Kindergarten. And … if you don’t know by now, I let my emotions flow into words … clearly, I was feeling sentimental about school starting and about my baby starting Kindergarten as I wrote this. A year later, the sting isn’t there, but if I pause, I still feel it. Big time. The ache for the years with the littles. But, also, if I’m honest, I like this stage too. I read my book at the pool sometimes this summer. I mean. I’ve been looking forward to that for a full decade. Hang tight, mommas of littles. There is light ahead. But, also, there are goodbyes. And so, today, I give you — The End of an Era —
The End of An Era
The things that I’ve grasped at, tried desperately to hold onto … have always been the things that slip away the quickest. Falling, always, just beyond my reach.
I’ve known this to be true, and tried to hold them loosely. Careful not to squeeze. Not to hold too tight. But, THEY are the things I want to hold the closest. The tightest. Keep them close. Keep them little. Don’t let it slip away. Hold on tighter. Keep them mine. Forever. And ever. Still the passage of time remains as constant as any change. Fleeting. A moment here, a moment gone. I’ve always struggled with this. Always wanted to stay put, to stay where I am. Just a moment longer. Not continue on. Not yet. But, especially now. More than ever.
Hold loosely. Hold tightly.
Don’t let go. Don’t grow.
I feel it. It’s the end of an era and it’s wrapping itself sharply around me. It’s squeeze becomes more noticeable as the seconds continue to disappear. Their skin is tanning. Seasons come and go. Another year gone. Their limbs are long and lanky. How are we here? Baby pudge and toddler squish has been replaced. Already. Too soon. It’s always so startling. Months go by and then one day, you notice how it’s passed you. When? You ask, you think. You forgot to notice.
This sweet, hard, messy, beautiful stage before “the school years” is officially coming to a bittersweet end. Too soon. Too soon. Weren’t they both just home with me? Making piles of stuffed animals, doing projects and picnicking in the backyard. Now, my last little squish is going to Kindergarten. I know all the ways we’ll be okay. I know all the ways that it’s time. And, yet. I grasp at it. Seeing it all fade around me. Memories are far too short-lived and I try to keep it in focus. But, it doesn’t. It softens and fades and my heart rips and tears. I will love the next stage too. I already do. But, I just might always grieve this one. Always. A little bit. This one. Where they were safe in our own private refuge. Safe from the world. Safe from it all. When Daddy and I were their very best friends and I felt it … their whole wide world. My kisses were enough to fix it all. We cocooned ourselves in and let the rest fade away. Some days were hard. Life with littles is so consuming. It’ll wear you down. Test every part of you. Reveal your worst. And, yet. I easily let all of that go in favor of all the good. There was so much good. So much happy. So much love. Laughter. Innocence. Unshakeable. The era of the littles at home with me. In all of its messy glory. I adored it. Even when I didn’t.
Now, I’ll give myself this moment to miss it. To grieve it. To ache for it. To ache for them. They don’t know what I mean. I say, “I miss Little You”… I miss that version of them. So terribly. I love this version of them. So much. I bid this season of our lives together a sweet farewell. I pack it up gently and carefully, tucking my favorite parts away in the safest corners of my heart. Praying that it will still be there, when I need to pull it out and take a peek. When I need to let myself long for my little bittles.
The end of an era….