Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Back to school

It seems that each year, as the new school  year begins, I am reminded of just how "big" my children are becoming, but this year is a little different.

Kennedy and I had a conversation last week about the see-saws at school and in my mind I was thinking, "Why do you want to play on the see-saws? Aren't you too big for that?" But reminded myself that she is only eight years old. With a new baby in the house it is so easy for me to forget that she too is just a babe. This morning I watched her, a third grader, walk into her school beside a fifth grader, who appeared to be a giant beside my little girl. Kennedy looked so small and I almost burst into tears thinking about my "little" girl and how fast the past eight years have gone by.

I often take for granted her independence and maturity. She helps so much with Bennett and Preston - from buckling the baby in his car seat to helping Preston with his shower, and for these things I am so grateful, but I hope that I can encourage her to enjoy being "only eight" at least until she is "only nine."

Preston started kindergarten this year, which isn't much different from last year's pre-K, but still serves as a reminder that he is growing up. I am so grateful for the little things that show me he isn't completely independent, even though he demanded that on the third day of school I drive up and drop him off at the door ("just like you do for sister"). This morning I had to tie his shoes for him (a lesson I failed to teach this summer and must do very soon) and every night he asks to be tucked into bed with three songs and a prayer. Is it wrong to say I enjoy the 30 seconds it takes for me to tie his shoes, which he spends with just me during the hustle of our morning routine?

I admit that I am often wishing my children would hurry up and learn to do something, lots of times it is such a petty need, that makes them more independent. This year I am making it my goal to slow down and enjoy the little things that make them who they are and encourage them to not grow up too soon. I feel certain that it won't be long before I miss being needed to complete what currently seem like mundane tasks.

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