Tuesday, September 6, 2011

How can it be?

This shouldn’t have been harder than last year.  But it is. 

Every year sounds so much older than the last. 

I just dropped my first child off for her first day of first grade. 

As my well adjusted, excited baby girl happily found her cubby, coat hook, and name at the table, my eyes swelled and I was [just a tad bit] jealous of the mom consoling her sobbing little boy in the corner of the room.  If only a little.  She reminded me on the walk from the car to the school of how much she loved me.  "As much as she can", she said.  I'm just behind God in the ranking of her heart she listed.  More than any other human, she articulated.  But she wasn't nervous, and she didn't need me.  I'm so grateful, I'm weepy.  I'm so amazed, my breath is caught in my throat. 

When I first had Lily and I met another mom who had a first grader, I thought she lived on another planet than I did.  SIX YEARS OLD WAS SO OLD.  In some ways that other mom DID live on another planet than I did.  But that was like yesterday.  And it was also like a million years ago.

Each and every milestone blindsides me, and I'm constantly in awe of how fast time goes, and how weird it is when I look back at 5-6-7 years ago, and it feels like both the blink of an eye and an eternity, simulaneously.  

I know I'm not alone, parents across the country are posting first day of school pictures.  Friends I graduated with have kids starting high school, middle school, elementary, and kindergarten. Each parent is amazed as they post their own smiling picture of their little one complete with new outfit and new backpack on Facebook.  And the overwhelming majority of comments are along the lines of "look how grown up they are" from friends who haven't seen them lately or "enjoy it, it will go so fast" from empty nester who want us parents with young kids to love each moment for what it is as they ponder their own life as it was just yesterday and a million years ago. 

And still.  My day is my own.  I experience it alone and with millions of other parents.   

How can my baby girl be in first grade already?  HOW?

How did this...

Become this?

How did this: 
 Become THIS!:
Heck, if I could, I'd rewind just one year and take THIS back!
 Kindergarten didn't sound as old as first grade.  Just like 5 didn't sound as old as 6.  And 6 doesn't sound as old as quickly approaching 7.  
In a minute I will have a 7,4,&2 year old.  So much different than a 6,3,&1 year old.  Or at least to me it is.  To that new mom nearly years ago it was. 

I love her as she is today.  Sweet.  Smart.  Beautiful.  All the things I prayed for her to be when she was this...
But it doesn't make it any easier to believe that we are here...that this happy, non-sleeping baby, the amazing one who changed my life and made me a mommy...that today she is off enjoying her first packed school lunch, her first school recess, her first full day...that today is her first day as a first grader.


  1. Remarkably, I held it together and was totally cool during our drop off. But as soon as we were in the parking lot, I lost it!

    Casey had a great day. I'm sure Lily did too.
    FIRST GRADE. "School-Agers" as they were called at the Goddard School. We have School-Agers.


  2. Wow. She's beautiful, Jenny. Just like her momma... but with Daddy's awesome skin tone. She's stunning! I love that photo of you two at her school.

  3. This post did a few things to me.

    It made me tear up

    It made me feel like a horrible mom for sending Alex on the bus!

    And it made me giggle seeing those two pictures of lily walking away from you. So sweet.

    Thanks for always making these moments easier, and for making me feel not so along in this crazy thing called parenting.