We were sitting in the waiting room of our new dentist’s office. I answered the familiar medical history questionnaire, passed it in, and my attention turned to the profile of the little person sitting next to me.
My daughter was carefully coloring a picture of her favorite Disney princess, paying close attention to the small details of her ball gown. I snap a quick picture of the seemingly mundane moment.
Suddenly, I’m struck by how not-so-mundane this moment actually is. Lily turns 5 in less than two months. She starts full-day kindergarten in less than one month. Her front, bottom teeth are wiggly. She has a definite opinion on her daily outfit, hairstyle, and accessories. She requests privacy in the bathroom.
She’s growing up.
She grows a little more each day. She’s changing; morphing. Becoming a little less dependent and exponentially independent with each stroke of midnight.
At that precise moment, in the sterile, beige waiting room, I wanted to bottle all her innocence and sweet smell. I wanted to wrap her little hands in mine and beg her to slow down, to stop growing. I wanted to squeeze the chubby cheeks and ask her to stay my little girl.
Instead, I asked for a kiss and she obliged. No eye-rolling yet.
I must be extra-sensitive this week because we dismantled the crib. Our son, eagerly switched to his big-boy bed and loves it! He climbs up, pulls the covers to his chin, and places his hands behind his head on the pillow.
His new mantra is “I big boy!” Yes, yes you are sweetie.
I was equally excited to set-up his new twin bed. I washed the sheets, placed the bed skirt, and centered his airplane quilt right on top. We clapped, took a short video during story time, said prayers, and kissed him goodnight.
He fell fast asleep while I slumped on the couch and fought back tears; the excitement transitioned to sadness.
There seems to be something related to putting away the crib that drives a nail into the “done with baby stage” coffin.
The daily marathon of mothering small children leaves me exhausted. Admittedly, many days I find myself watching the clock for the moment my husband will walk through the door and I have back-up. I’m pretty sure this is all normal.
I’m also certain that when I take a moment to reflect on the passage of time, I’m left dumbfounded by how much time has actually passed. On a daily basis it crawls by but rides a rocket through the month.
I think this month, I’m going to request the rocket slow down and take a spin around the planet known as “a little more time with Mom.” I’m not so sure I’m ready for a toothless smile and Superman underwear just yet.
Jessica Brashear is married with two children. Read her blogs every Monday on momaha.
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