Wednesday, August 19, 2015

be kind and make good choices

Be kind and make good choices. Those are the words I whispered in the ear of the ever precocious Little Miss J as I hugged her on the first day of kindergarten. That pretty much covers it, no?

When we got to campus, she immediately asked if she could go play. I asked if she wanted me to stay and the only reason she considered letting me stay was because she felt bad telling me to leave. I watched her as she jumped, climbed, and went down the slide, so happy to be outside with other kids. She interacted with kids that she didn't know and immediately started making new friends. She won't be 5 years old until October, so she's a bit young for kindergarten, but after the last two days, I have stopped second guessing our decision to send her. She absolutely loves it. 

The whole transition has been much harder on me than on her. Three days later, just thinking about the first day of kindergarten brings tears to be eyes. Trust me, there are days I would give just about ANYTHING for her to be able to take care of herself and not have to ask me an infinite number of questions, but as she creeps closer to independence I just want to gather her up in my arms and hold onto 4 years old with all my might. I really just need to get a grip, but I'm proud, sad, and excited all rolled into one.

I'm proud of myself for making such an incredible little person. The other night someone congratulated me on doing such a good job with her and for a mom that couldn't tell you the difference between free range and attachment parenting and has zero clue what baby lead weaning is, the validation was appreciated. I am also proud of Little Miss J for being brave and kind. It's a new school and she has managed the transition with grace and resilience.

I am sad and excited for the same reasons. Excited that she's growing into such an awesome human and sad that she's growing up into such an awesome human. I am awestruck nearly every day at something she says or does or simply by the fact that she's so big and when I met her she was the length of Gus's forearm. I feel like the first day of kindergarten is a bit of a tipping point - it's the first of many first days of school for her. (Many many if she follows in her umma's footsteps and decides it's a good idea to get not one, but two graduate degrees. It's not necessarily, by the way - a good idea, that is.) It feels like such a slippery slope, and that now that kindergarten has started the time is somehow going to go even faster and she'll be in college well before I'm ready to let go.
sooo BIG!
Happy 1st Day of Kindergarten, Little Miss J! In the words of Dr. Seuss, "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose!" I am so very proud of you today, right now. Whatever direction you choose, no matter what period in your lifetime, I hope you will always be kind and make good choices. It is actually not possible for you to grasp how much you mean to me (until you have your own children) because those words (at least not English ones) simply do not exist. I love you to infinity and beyond! - Umma

Monday, August 17, 2015

birthday trifecta

This past weekend was our last weekend before Little Miss J started kindergarten. Eeek! We certainly made the most of it by partying all. weekend. long.

Friday night, was Benson's birthday at the splash pool by our home. Piled J2 and swim gear in the wagon and Little Miss J pedaled pedaled pedaled her bike up to the park. Little Miss J loves the "mushroom" waterfall. J2 also liked it, but only when I held him and ran back and forth under it. After swimming, the were slides to slide down and swings to be swung.

photo credit: Tana Toll
 On Saturday we did the early morning shift at Costco. Then got ready to head to Fitness Rangers for Beckett's birthday. That place is so fun I think I'm having my birthday there next year!

On our way home from the birthday party, we got an invite for an impromptu swim/dinner party with our neighbors, and of course we accepted! I didn't take any photos, but I had a fun night watching Little Miss J swim back and forth, catching up with friends, and having some drinks and amazing food!

Sunday we went to church for the first time since vacation and then we were headed back to the pool for the last party of the weekend for Miss Ella!

Little Miss J went down the water slide and jumped off the diving board. Her swimming has really improved over this summer. Both Gus and I feel comfortable letting her swim on her own without a flotation device and without having to be in the water to help her. The little bit of freedom is nice, for all of us. She has expressed an interest in swim team for next summer, which warms this former competitive swimmer's heart. J2 loves his goggles and has taken to swimming with Little Miss J's old floatie. He's bobbing around and is quite the kicker. I mostly can't get over how adorable he looks with those goggles on though.

And since three birthday parties weren't enough and the kids had fallen asleep in the car anyway, we headed to the mall for more fun. Carousels, arcades, and the candy store, which was mostly for me because they have these mini gummy bears that are my favorites.

By the time we rolled into our house last night, I was exhausted and hanging onto my last shred of sanity listening to the wall of sound that is Little Miss J. In fact, just writing this blog post and thinking of all the stuff we did last weekend is making me exhausted all over again. I may have to pull a Costanza and take a nap under my desk.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015