Posted in Preschool

Careful What You Wish For

I am so happy to have Natalie, from My Crazy Busy Life, here this week on Small Moments Mondays to share a small moment with us.

I wish I lived closer to Natalie because she’s the kind of girl with whom I’d go out for drinks (yes, multiple) and laugh until we cried. She’s funny, down to earth, genuine, and kind. I am so grateful to have her as my friend.

This post tugs at my heart, as Katie is preparing to start preschool next week…a huge change in our life. Natalie’s words are so lovely.

Thank you, Natalie, for sharing this here. I am so grateful for your generosity!

Careful What You Wish For by Natalie

For the past year or so, I’ve hoped the preschool would start a carpool, drop off line. I thought it would be great if I could let my youngest out at the door so I didn’t have to get out and walk her in. That way, I wouldn’t feel so guilty about dragging myself out of the house in my pj’s & attempting to inhale my first cup of coffee.

Not that long after Christmas break, I got what I wished for. The school sent home a letter that they would begin a preschool drop off line. I should be ecstatic right? I should feel over-the-moon-happy about it. I mean, this is EXACTLY what I wanted. Right?

One morning during the drop off, I look at my little girl- my baby- looking so big in her booster seat and waiting our turn. She was so excited about getting dropped off, “just like her brothers.” And it hit me. She would be starting kindergarten soon. She’s no longer a baby, toddler, or even preschooler. My little girl was officially a kid.

That one moment changed how I viewed the carpool lane. It was no longer a convenience. It was moving us forward to another phase of life.

Each little thing you cross off the list… The bottles, the diapers, bloomers with dresses, carseat, then eventually you realize their physical need for you is gone. They are physically capable of walking into school safely. Physically capable of getting through life without you. I’m now in the phase of guiding her to who she is meant to be.

That moment made me intensely miss the days I still had a baby.

Please go say hello to Natalie over on My Crazy Busy Life. Don’t miss Best Birthday Card Ever, Finding Your Words, and Sweet Home Chicago.

You can also find Natalie on Twitter. Go follow! You’ll love her, I promise!


I have tremendous respect for this week’s Small Moments Mondays guest poster. Gigi, from Kludgy Mom, truly inspires me. Though she has a million things going on at any given moment, she does them all well…and with class.

She is helpful and generous, driven and straight forward. I am always learning something from Gigi, whether it’s how to value myself as a blogger or how to keep my sense of humor.

This piece took my breath away when I first read it and I have been so eager to share it with you.

I could thank you a million times over, Gigi, and that still wouldn’t begin to cover my gratitude for sharing this story with us.

Threshold — by Gigi

I love the word, the idea that there is a space in the universe that is neither here nor there; the midpoint between two states of being; the crossing over place.

The word swells with its own definition. Threshold: the crossing over point holds something: promise, loss, change, adventure, comfort. One must pass through to receive that which it holds.

Boy Wonder was 3 years and 3 months old when he crossed one such threshold.

It was is his first day of preschool. This wasn’t like any typical preschool. This was developmental preschool; a program to assist special needs kids.

The school was about 8 miles away from our home. They wanted me to put my 3 year old who wasn’t potty trained and barely spoke a word onto a bus. They said it was the kids’ favorite part of the day. With much trepidation, we agreed to try it.

Boy Wonder played outside in the rocks, Buzz Lightyear backpack on his back, while I stood at the curb, gazing far down the street, waiting for the bus’ arrival.

The bus groaned and squealed as it came down the street. It looked like a monstrosity pulling up to our driveway.

It was time to go.

Metal scraped onto more metal. The bus driver was pulling back the weighty handle that opened the bus door.

Whoooooooooooooooooosh. Air discharged from the mechanism as the folding door opened.

The threshold loomed.

The bus rumbled, sputtered, heaved with great noise; yet around me, a quiet void.

Boy Wonder walked to the bus, his twinkling eyes growing wider at the sight. A moment of recognition that he was to get on, and then, a turn, backward, at me.

I dropped to one knee, placed my hands on his shoulders, and looked into his eyes, the olive-like eyes that had only recently begun to look directly back into my own.

“Have fun, okay? You have a good day, and I’ll see you in just a few hours.”

We hugged. I turned him around by his shoulders, grabbed his hand and braced him as he stepped up onto the first stair of the bus.

The bus monitor was at the top step, hand outreached to pull Boy Wonder onto the second step, and then the third.

As he crossed over the threshold, Boy Wonder let go of my hand as he grabbed onto hers.

Hope surrounded him.

The bus door screeched again shut. Whoooooooooooooooosh.

The tears began.

Flash forward. The first day of kindergarten did not have the weighty fanfare of two years prior. No, I walked Boy Wonder through the automatic doors of the elementary school that day, settled into his classroom, and left the school excited for his new adventure.

But one morning the following week, we arrived at the front door of the school.

With a hushed whoooooooooooooosh, the automatic doors glided open. Boy Wonder stopped.

“I can go in by myself, Mommy.”

Wooooooooooooooosh. The automatic doors glided shut.

“Okay, buddy.” As I did two years prior, I dropped to one knee, looked him in his olive eyes, told him to have a good day and turned him to face the door.

Woooooooooooooooosh. The automatic doors glided open.

I stood up. Boy Wonder walked through the doors. Hope surrounded him.

Woooooooooooooooosh. The automatic doors glided shut, as if punctuating my silent conversation with myself: “He is growing away from me.”

I looked at the doors, but was not able to see through them.

Woooooooooooooooosh. The automatic doors glided open.There was Boy Wonder. He blew me a kiss, waved, turned and ran down the hall.

I watched his backpack bounce rhythmically up and down as he ran.

Wooooooooooooooooosh. The automatic doors glided shut.

The tears began.

Our children, and we, grow in the small moments: the moments where they leave us on this side of the threshold.

Now that you’ve read Gigi’s beautiful words here, please go read some of my favorite posts: The Man Who Braved the Cold, Waiting is the Hardest Part, Let’s Rename the Whoopie Pie.

Okay, choosing those three was so incredibly tough. Why? Because not only is Gigi prolific, but she is consistently awesome. I could have easily pointed you to this, this, or this.

You can also find Gigi over at She Posts, where she’s keeping us all up to date on what’s happening in the blogosphere.

Please go like Gigi on Facebook (she has such an awesome landing page) and follow her on Twitter. I’m certain that you’ll love her as much as I do.

Reason #8 Why Having a Preschooler Rocks

One of the greatest things about having a preschooler is that you get to help them make useless crafts that take you back to your own childhood when you made your own worthless crafts.

This week, we made a completely useless craft lovely stained glass candle holders.

To make your own useless craft lovely keepsake, here’s what you’ll need to collect from your recycling bin craft cabinet:

  • empty and clean baby food jars
  • pieces of cut up tissue paper in every color of the preschooler rainbow
  • white school glue
  • tea light or votive candle

Step One:

Have your overzealous preschooler smear their finger in the glue and rub it on the table, her arms, her legs, in her mouth, and in her hair the baby food jar.

Step Two:

Place perfectly-cut torn pieces of tissue paper onto the glue, gently pressing into place.

Step Three:

Repeat until your preschooler is stuck to everything you have covered the entire surface of the baby food jar, leaving numerous no blank spaces.

Step Four:

Carefully place a green, no purple, no pink, no yellow, blue tea light or votive candle into the jar and hover over candle the entire time it is lit as it is probably a total fire hazard, what with the flammable tissue paper and all enjoy the lovely flickering candlelight.

Oh, wait, this craft isn’t actually completely useless…it does put a smile on Katie’s face every single time we light it. And anything that does that is perfection in my book!

Coming soon to a craft table near you — hand-print paper turkeys, cotton ball snowmen, and paper snowflakes.

If My Memory Should Ever Fail Me

If I was gifted the ability to stop time for twenty-four hours, what would I attempt to accomplish?

Without hesitation, I would spend those hours writing a letter to myself in case my memory ever betrays me, a letter I could hold in my hands, something tangible to prove that I had truly lived.

If such a letter could dislodge even a fragment of memory, it would have been worth every moment spent writing it.

I would attempt to capture…

…what it feels like to be loved unconditionally.  I would write about the relationship that I have built with Craig and what it feels like to hold his hand in mine. I would write about the soapy smell of his skin, the feel of his stubble on my cheek, and what it feels like to hear his thoughts as we drift off to sleep each night…what it is to know true contentment.

…how comforting it is to know that a promise for forever is exactly that…to know that I can breathe and just be, without worry.

…what it feels like to have chosen a man who is such an amazing father, who knows such random, yet important, things as how to do Katie’s hair, how to assemble a preschooler-friendly, healthy meal, and how to comfort Matthew when he’s teething.

…how much being a mother to Katie and Matthew fulfills me…that although I am exhausted much of the time, my heart stretches as I close each of their doors at bedtime, knowing that they are safe and happy.

…the way Katie’s gentle golden curls frame her face, how she wakes each morning full of things to say, brimming with excitement, and eager to learn what I have planned for her. I want to remember the way she smells like a mixture of Play-Doh and blueberries and the way she gleefully sings If You’re Happy and You Know It while spinning in circles on tip toes.

…the way Matthew goes limp in my arms at bedtime and how when I shush him and ask him to put his head on my shoulder, he just melts into me.  How he wraps his still baby fingers in my hair and pinches the skin under my arms.

…how it feels when Katie looks me in the eye and says, “You’re so nice, Mommy.” I pray that I remember the way she fits into me right now, how her long arms and legs wrap around me and the way her hair tickles my face when I hold her.

…that Matthew lunges for me when he catches sight of me, the weight of his soft body in my arms as I nurse him.  I long to remember the way he lights up when I do The Itsy Bitsy Spider on his belly…how his impossibly-long eyelashes flutter as he drifts off to sleep.

…that I was not me before them.

…the happiness that this life brought me…from the small things to the big things.  From the moments to weeks to months to years to a lifetime.

..the gratitude that I feel for having been given this opportunity to hold happiness in my hands and that I never took it for granted.  For even one second.

And if my memory does truly fail me, then I would hope that I could at least read this letter and be comforted by the fact that I had been a part of such a family, a family that knew joy and appreciated the smallest of moments.

*This post is inspired by a blogger I met through Kris at Pretty All True.  She is new to me, but I was so moved by her post that I’ve thought of little else since I read it.  Please read this powerful post, The Weight of Tears.

**I am also over at my friend Abigail’s today, sharing my dreams in a guest post, “It Isn’t That Simple,” please come by and say hi!

Mama's Losin' It

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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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