We made it! He made it! I made it!
The first year is behind us. It did not feel like it went quickly in the first few months but from six months on it seemed to fly by. I get a weekly update about what my baby is up to and suddenly I get one and it no longer says "baby." My little baby is now a toddler. This time is of course bittersweet. I read recently that the month of May is hard for children because it is the end of the year and if they are going on to a new school they keep hearing about all the changes but they can't really grasp what the change is or how it will affect them. There is so much hype around how they are getting bigger and they are moving on and in some ways they get excited but it can also cause them a great deal of anxiety.
Parents (me) go through this change as well. I cannot grasp that I now have a one year old and will soon have a five year old who will go off to kindergarten. I just felt that the first day of school was so far away. When I took the baby (pardon me, "toddler") to drop off Twig's kindergarten registration forms today the secretary mentioned that soon enough I'll be registering him too. Now I know that is kind of far away but I also now know how the speed of time passing seems to have changed dramatically. I don't know what it is to feel boredom, quiet, or down time anymore and when I am busy I never get the sense that anything is moving slowly. There are only four weeks left of preschool for my first baby and I feel she is just getting over the transition recently. She loves school, but goodbyes each morning are still a struggle.
Changes are not easy for everyone. They have always seemed especially hard for me. That being said I have had more practice then usual lately. We moved a month ago and it went much smoother than I thought. It was epic, moving an entire house with two small children underfoot. Both kids did really well too (except for the then baby getting sick the second night here -- that is always a picnic). The anticipation of the change is always harder than the actual day it arrives. I do get teary just thinking of preschool graduation day, cap and gowns, singing, goodbyes to teachers. Teary and my stomach is turning too. The first concept that will be difficult for her to grasp is that she will not be going back there after that last day. She will then have to adjust to starting in a summer camp. I'm sure she will just begin to get used to that right before that ends as well.
Having children has challenged me to navigate change more gracefully. Just like Twig I have to shift gears often now. I will miss her preschool, and her preschool friends. I will miss the things they help her with there that she won't have assistance with in kindergarten, like telling them what to eat from their lunch boxes first, and more one-on-one attention. I will miss that academics took a backseat to fun and that it will soon be the other way around for her. I look forward to her going to kindergarten to expand her knowledge, friends, and experiences. I look forward to her being able to walk to school from our new home, and I look forward to her having a sense of community more so than we have had from preschool.
As for my little and last baby, I will miss him falling asleep nursing. I will miss the curled up snuggle of a tiny baby. I will miss watching the transformation he made from half asleep to smiling to sitting up. I will miss his new baby smell. I am happy to part with the sleepless nights, the hormonal shifts I went through and the blowout diapers. I still get to marvel over newness with both of them on a daily basis. Twig is singing and making up songs, and he happily claps along. The older he gets the more I see the relationship between the two of them strengthening. They are much happier having each other to play with. On the day of his first birthday he stood up for the first time without holding on to anything. He had a huge smile on his face as he just stood there looking at all of us. There are still so many great firsts ahead for all of us. I am excited to share my days with my two wonders.