The days are long but the years are short. How often do we as mothers hear this? How often does it run through our heads when we’re in the throws of a temper tantrum, knee-deep in stale Cheerios, or signing our child up for Pre-K?
I struggled when it was time to register my oldest for his last year of preschool before kindergarten. So many of his friends were going more than three days per week, and I was conflicted about three. I know young kids need the social and learning atmosphere and structure that a school setting gives them, but I also knew that four or five days of preschool a week would not work for our family.
I’ve seen the kindergarten readiness lists and I know that so much of what they’re expected to know BEFORE kindergarten are things my generation was learning IN kindergarten. The time period we as mothers often struggle with the most is also the time when so many wish to go back. So, what’s the rush?
I see his innocence and curiosity and I wish so desperately I could bottle it up. I dread the days he is stressed about school or the pressure that school brings at all too of an early age these days.
This age is such an amazing time for development. My four year-old is just starting to sound out and guess the first few letters of words that he hears. He’s right about 90% of the time and I can’t help but stand back in awe of how much he has grown over the past few years. And how quickly time has flown by.
I never thought I would be one of those sentimental moms that struggles with every milestone that their child approaches, but I am. I love these crazy days that every seasoned mom has told me will fly by with the blink of an eye.
And I am so excited to see who he grows up to be, yet get choked up thinking of the days when he will no longer slip his little hand into mine and tell me, “Mommy. You’re my best friend.”
So, I will let him be little. I will try and say yes more. Let him take his time putting on those shoes because he wants to stop and tell me how I could “improve on his breakfast spread tomorrow because I need to ‘feed him better’.” I will listen to him when he tells me what shapes they see in the clouds and what Thomas Train is his favorite.
Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely looking forward to having several free mornings to myself per week. But when I look back on these days, I will know that I let him be little. That while there were many, many week days when I was counting down the hours until Daddy walked through the door to provide some relief, I still savored this time. And the “this” in “This too shall pass” passes all too quickly.
Because they’re only little for so little.