I spent the morning pawing through the basement, gathering items to donate to my children’s preschool charity drive. The organization serves children in need in our area and is known to be excellent, so I couldn’t let the opportunity pass to donate through the school.
After filling up the entire trunk of my car and dropping off baby clothes, shoes, toys, gear, and books, I felt a great sense of accomplishment but also a tinge of sadness. How can it be that my children are beyond Mega Blocks, basic board books, and bottle supplies? Is it really true that Nora will celebrate her fifth Christmas this year? Have I really been a mom that long?! I realized my truly broken-in parent status when I read the car seat’s manufacturer sticker and saw that it expires this spring. I remember taking it out of the box like it was yesterday . . .
However, joys come with this bittersweet day. I have to remember how amazing this current phase of life is with my preschool-aged children (however trying these days are leading up to Christmas!). Though I am sure future years will be very vibrant, these days may be the best ones from the parenting perspective. In years two through five so much happens, and children express their love and devotion in such outward ways. I am so lucky to spend afternoons snuggling with my little ones, and they are never hesitant to say “I love you Mama”–even in public!
During the big clean out, I updated Carson’s bedroom library to include more Dr. Seuss, Berenstein Bears, and other favorite picture books. Nora’s shelf now contains a whole section of chapter books that I’m sure we’ll begin to read to her within the next year, and she’s really enjoying those in the “Ready to Read” level these days. We’re a far cry away from those mornings spent reading one-word-per-page board books next to the crib.
I guess this is just a common tale of the revolving door of parenting. When one phase passes, another enters, often seamlessly. You know that saying: long days, short years. It couldn’t be more true.