Posted in Parenting

A collision of first and lasts

Polly Pocket

My sweet Katie,

Tonight I plugged the drain of my bathtub, squirted in a healthy dose of bubble bath, turned the not-too-hot water on and lined your Polly Pockets up on the edge of the tub.

This was probably the millionth bath you’ve taken in your seven years.

It seems that so much of mothering is focused on all of the firsts. First smile, first steps, first words, first day of school.

And there’s this span of time wherein you are cushioned by those firsts… where it seems as though each one builds on the one before it and there are so few lasts.

But, something tells me that before long, bath time will be a thing of the past. You’ll move on to bathing… showering… in private and this bubble of time will no longer be spent with me by your side, washing your hair for you… handing you the washcloth.

When you were a baby, we bathed together every night. We played with your multicolored foam alphabet letters, sang a million rounds of Old MacDonald and often you settled and nursed there amongst the popping bubbles.

Those days with you seemed so much slower.

Now our days are filled with lunch packing, school pick up, errands, homework and just the overall busyness life.

We are happy. But we are busy.

And somehow the years between when I felt certain that we had this immeasurable expanse of time ahead of us in which we could run a bubble bath and laugh and sing have collided into nownow when I just know those days are dwindling.

In many ways, now has become a time of lasts intermingled with firsts, where a single day can simultaneously hold joy of the new and melancholy over the no more.

But tonight, I drew your bath and climbed in beside you.

We played with your Polly Pockets together, washing their hair and singing our songs. Old MacDonald has been replaced by the entire Sophia the First CD.

Lasts and firsts.

And in each, I am learning, there is beauty.

Thank you for showing me the way, my dear girl.

I am so very grateful for you.

With so much love,

Mommy

Nine words

My sweet Katie,

Today, you stashed your lunch box in your cubby, hung your backpack from the hook and kissed me goodbye, just as you do every morning.

Then, you turned and took your friend’s hand and said, “Come on, let’s go play.” She answered with an easy smile and you ran off together.

As I stood there, watching your two pony tails bouncing along behind you, I was struck by just how much I admire you.

During the first month and a half of kindergarten, this little girl wasn’t so nice to you. continued

Fortitude: Lessons from a kindergartener

pediped isabella, pediped flex, new school shoes, kindergarten shoes

This morning, when we arrived at school, we went to Katie’s classroom, deposited her lunch into her cubby and hung her backpack on its hook.

We then made our way to the playground, where we stood at the entrance.

Our conversation went like this:

Me: Katie, do you see any of your classmates out there?

Katie: No…I don’t recognize anyone.

Me: No worries, we can wait until you see someone who looks familiar.

Katie: I’m okay, Mommy. I want to go play.

Me: But Katie, none of your friends are out there yet.

Katie: Then, I’ll go make some.

And in that moment, I realized that she’s going to be just fine.

The next time I’m standing on the fringe, trying to work up the courage to join in, I hope to remember those wise words from my kindergartener.

Because life should always be that simple.

Kindergarten Eve

Dear Katie,pedipeds, mary jane shoes, school uniform shoes, black little girl shoes, black shoes

I just said my goodnights to you, blew kisses and closed your bedroom door.

Tomorrow when you wake up, you will be a kindergartener.

And it will take everything I have in me to bring you to school…to hand you over to kindergarten, this new experience that feels like it is taking you from me.

But I will smile as I help you get settled in your classroom and wish you a wonderful day because I know that’s what you need most from me.

I’m certain that you will thrive.

I’ve watched you gain confidence and trust yourself.

And in time, I will find my way too.

You have both softened me and strengthened me.

You’ve made me hold on tighter while also learning to let go.

Thank you for these past five years…for the moments, the days, the years.

My time with you has been an absolute gift, Katie.

With so very much love,

Mommy

About me

Nichole Beaudry @NicholeBeaudry Location: Northern California
Each and every day, I strive to appreciate the wonder, beauty, and whimsy in the small moments, the moments that, when strung together, form a lifetime.
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