Nothing makes me realize how old my kids are getting more than the beginning of school. I remember vividly Ty’s first day of Kindergarten. Seriously like it was yesterday. And now that he’s one year away from high school; he’s taller than me, bigger than me, stronger than me and not nearly as dependent on me. It’s so fun to watch your kids grow up but it doesn’t mean that it isn’t hard. It doesn’t mean that you don’t wish they were still little. It doesn’t mean you won’t get a panic attack when you realize you have less than 5 years with them before they start to leave home. It doesn’t mean you don’t yearn for them to still want to cuddle with you and tell you all about their day.
I read this quote recently on social media and it totally resonated with me in this chapter of my life:
"From the moment you hold your baby in your arms, you will never be the same.
You might long for the person you were before, when you had freedom and time, and nothing, in particular, to worry about. You will know tiredness like you never knew it before, and days will run into days that are exactly the same, full of feedings, and burping, diaper changes, and crying, whining and fighting, naps or lack of naps, it might seem like a never-ending cycle.
But don’t forget …There is a last time for everything. There will come a time when you feed your baby for the very last time. They will fall asleep on you after a long day and it will be the last time you will hold your sleeping child.
One day you will carry them on your hip then set them down and never pick them up that way again. You will scrub their hair in the bath one night and from that day on they will want to bathe alone. They will hold your hand to cross the road, then never reach for it again.
They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles, and it will be the last night you ever wake to this. One afternoon you will sing “the wheels on the bus” and do all the actions, then never sing that song again. They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate, the next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone. You will read a final bedtime story and wipe the last dirty face. They will run to you with arms raised for the very last time. The thing is, you won’t even know it’s the last time until there are no more times.
So while you are living in the times, remember there are only so many of them and when they are gone, you will yearn for just one more day of them.
For one last time." ~ author unknown
So as I change out framed pictures from my kids’ 1st, 4th and 7th grade years and replace them with new ones from 2nd, 5th, and 8th grade I will hold onto the cherished memories I have with each of them throughout the years and remember to stay present with each of my kids so I won’t miss any of the “lasts” that will be coming my way.