Dear Preschool Moms,
I am entering into my official last year as a preschool mommy to my third baby. I have been at this same preschool for eight years now and I can’t believe this stage of my life is in its senior year. As I held my son’s hand walking into the school this week, I was full of emotion. I have two older children so I know what is about to end. Daily messy art, homemade gak, singing nursery rhymes, a bit of quiet afternoon time just the two of us, upside down letters, help with spelling his own name, reviewing shapes and the alphabet. Before I know it, he will have mastered all of this. He will have moved on from needing me for almost everything to overtly wanting independence. I want to soak him up right now because I feel the clock ticking.
The last few nights I have appreciated reading to him at night because I know that soon he will want to read to me. Right now, that is not even something he is interested in but I know that the day he realizes he can make sense of letters strung together there will be no turning back. I have stared just a little bit longer at his baby teeth that won’t always be there and his hands that won’t always be so small. Tonight I sung Head, Shoulders, Knees ad Toes as enthusiastically as the day he started to learn it because one day he will laugh at me for wanting to sing that song.
See what I want to share with moms whose only or last child is in preschool is that I am making a promise to myself to enjoy this year to it’s fullest. I will not wish the time to fly by so that he is in Kindergarten all day. I will stop and smell the roses with him. I will walk at his pace and not hurry him along. I will join him in wondering out loud about bugs, the moon and road construction. I will try to see the world through his four-year-old eyes because that is an honor that only comes around this one time. I am going to do my best to put my phone down, to explore and to enjoy the small amount of time that we get alone together each day.
I see the hours and days flying by and while I know I will have done my job when he wants to be a big boy and do things on his own I still have this window to get to be the mom of a curious, energetic, loving, little boy who lights up when he sees me walk into the classroom. I hope that other preschool moms who are exhausted, need a break in the day and juggle so many responsibilities can take a minute to remember that this is only one of many stages. And what I hear and have experienced is that this stages don’t get easier, they just change. When preschool is over our little ones only continue to grow bigger, taller, smarter and more independent. And while we generally think of those things as positives with that growth comes a loss.
I also know that being in the last year of preschool means that friendships and connections with other moms all going through the same things is about to change as well. Mothers of toddlers are generally well connected to other moms learning from each other and sharing in the experiences of toddler tantrums, potty training, pregnancy, sleepless nights, nap schedules, picky eating, not sharing well with others and so many other commonly shared rites of passage. I know that our stories will begin to unfold with a lot more uncertainty as the kids grow older and that I will miss the bond that I feel with other moms of four-year olds.
So, until this chapter ends and a new one begins, I will keep my eyes wide open to all that this child can teach me right now about love and being present.
Happy school year to all my fellow moms!