Oh my goodness!
It’s been a long time since I’ve experienced the “back-to-school” hustle and bustle. If you’re on my email list then know that my oldest child just started kindergarten. It’s only been four weeks, so we’re still getting used to the routine of making school lunches, getting to bed on time, drop-off/pick-up, and doing the dreadful homework! Yikes, I don’t remember doing homework in kindergarten
Last Friday, after what seemed to be an unusually long week, my husband (who’s usually a very go-with-the-flow, even-keel-kind-of-guy) said to me (with a very serious look on his face), “You know what I figured out today?”
“That we have 17 more years of weeks like this!!” (If you’re doing the math, he added in the time for my daughter, who’s not yet in school.)
SIGH!!!! Looking at it like that sure makes it sound daunting. In fact, I can get up in my head and count all the ways it will get worse, and at times probably dreadful. But this time I was able to stop myself before my thinking got away from me. I took a deep breath and reminded myself to be in the moment. To not look too far in the future and worry about what if, what then, what else....
So this is the point of the story. It’s a simple reminder to live in the moment. That when things are difficult (because they will be) and when you’re too tired to get up in the middle of the night to change a diaper; when your nanny quits with little or no notice; when your toddler is having a tantrum in the middle of Target; when you and your partner aren’t communicating effectively; and when there’s no milk for the morning breakfast. You name it!
Just remember, that this time shall pass. I really believe that each stage of our child’s development has pros and cons. Somethings are easy or more fun, and some things are more challenging. But that’s good. We need a balance and I think it helps get us ready for the next stage.
So yes, right now, I’m not a fan of how the structure of school has taken our ability to go on vacation in September, or to meet up with friends during the week so we can go to the zoo. I’m also not a fan of his recent inability to follow directions the first time asked.
But oh how I also love the structure of school and that it adds a bit more routine into our day. I love to hear the stories my son comes home with about new friends and things he’s done (when he’s ready to share them.) And I love his ability to make new connections of experiences he’s having to things he is learning.
So each time you are dreading the moment: the sleepless nights, the endless dirty diapers, the screaming because they don’t yet have the words to say what they need or want, consider the things that are precious to each stage. The extra cuddles, the inability to argue or strongly disagree, the cute little footie pajamas. Because this too shall pass...
What are you doing today? How will you make sure you can slow down long enough to be in the moment? Enjoy today, what ever the stage your child(ren) are in.