Posts tagged growin up

No longer BFFs

For the past four years I have had the bestest best friend in the world.  We’ve done more together than I’ve done with any other one person in my life.  Countless shopping trips, hundreds of lunch dates, lots of girl talk and millions of hugs.   She is an amazing person who never ceases to amaze me or bring a smile to my face.  Sure we’ve had our ups and downs but we always manage to work our problems out.  I truly can’t imagine my life without her in it.  All of this makes it really hard for me to swallow the fact that maybe she doesn’t consider me her best friend anymore.  I know deep down inside I will always be her best friend but lately I’ve been pushed to the back burner and it hurts a little bit.

You see, my bestest best friend for the past four years has been my daughter, Brinley.  But now that she is four and growing up before my eyes, she has become quite an independent little girl.  She’s in school now and has new friends her own age.  It’s not that I’m not happy about her having friends because I am.  I love that she’s social and goes on play dates and has friends over to play.  It’s just hard to her hear say to me, “Mom, you go upstairs and leave us alone to play.”  It’s like she doesn’t need me there anymore to play with dolls or color or play school.  My role has shifted from best friend and playmate to simply Mom.  It’s a role I’ll always be more than happy to take on, but I’ll miss being the one she choose for playing games and dress up with.  Now it’s, “Can so and so come over to play” instead of “Mom, let’s play dolls.”

I know this is not the last time that my heart will ache just a little bit over my daughter.  I’m sure I’ll have many, many more experiences just like this one or even worse.  Hopefully over time they’ll be easier to swallow because right now I’m sitting upstairs typing this while I listen to my daughter downstairs playing with her friend.  Don’t get me wrong, it brings me great joy to hear their happiness and giggles, but I’m a little bit sad that I can’t be a part of it. :-(

Motherhood.

I want to preface this post by saying that this is not intended to be a ::slap in the face:: to anyone who does not feel the same way.  I’m simply writing this as ‘the other side to the story’ so to speak.  After reading recent posts from Blair, Allison, and Katie, I felt compelled to share my feelings.  I have to go ahead and agree with Emmie Bee and I just wanted to give my two cents…

I remember being a little girl and always dreaming of growing up, getting married, and becoming a mom.  Whenever I thought about what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always pictured having a house, a husband, and kids.  Sure, I wanted to go to college and have a career to some extent.  But even my career choice (teacher) was in line with my real life plans.  I knew that becoming a teacher would allow me to be around kids even though they weren’t my own.  Even when I was in college I was a part time nanny and during the summers I was a camp counselor.  So, really, my life revolved around kids even before I was a mom.  I know what you’re probably thinking:  being around kids isn’t the same as having your own kids.  And you’re 100% right.

But that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t ready for motherhood when the time came.  It doesn’t mean that I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.  I am fortunate to come from a large family with lots of cousins.  I’m the second oldest in the brood.  I remember most of my cousins being born and I babysat almost all of them.  We all lived in the same town and were all very close.  I’m also eight years older than my younger sister (who just turned 21 by the way, crazy!).  So, I had a lot of experience being in the presence of newborns and watching babies grow.  But again, they weren’t my children.

My point, though, is that I was aware of what motherhood would bring even before I was a mother myself.  I knew there would be sleepless nights, and spit up, and dirty diaper blow outs.  It never deterred me from my dream.  It might sound crazy, but all of those things made me want to be a mother even more.  I was ready for the challenge and eager to take it on with all I had.  Everyone who knows me well can tell you that throughout my late teens, college years, and in the years before I got married, I just wanted to get to the point in my life where I was a mother.

Now that I am here, I can honestly say that it is everything I had hoped for in life, and more.  I love being a mother and a wife and my family is my life.  Everything that I do, I do it for them.  From cooking their meals to comforting them when they’re hurt; it brings me joy to provide for them and care for them.  That’s not to say that there are not mornings where I wish I could sleep in a little longer or nights when I wish I could just spontaneously go out for a movie and drink, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.  I don’t enjoy being puked on, or pooped on but strangely, I embrace it because I know that in time, it will all be a thing of the past.  I already miss the middle of the night feedings where it seemed like the baby and I were the only ones in the world awake.  I cherished those moments and they’re gone now.

I don’t miss my former self.  I look back on my pre-motherhood years fondly but I wouldn’t go back to them if I had the chance.  I liked school and learning, but I don’t miss the partying, clubbing or any of it at all.  It was just never my thing.  I can honestly say that I am exactly where I want to be in life and it exceeds my expectations daily.

I’m not sure if there are a lot of other mother’s who share my feelings on this, but I am sure that there are some.  I’m no June Cleaver and I don’t claim to be.  I make mistakes, I get angry and frustrated like the best of you.  I’m not a perfect mother and there are many things that I’ve yet to learn.  There have been many and there will be plenty more unexpected situations that arise for me as a mother, but for the most part, everything is falling right in to place.

Holding back the tears.

Today my little girl graduated from her first year of preschool.  I don’t know where the time has gone but somehow over the past three and half years she has transformed from a little, helpless, squishy infant into a beautiful, intelligent, sweet little girl.  Everyday when I look at her, I am amazed at the little person that she is.  She is truly the light of my life and I can’t imagine a life without her in it.

When Brinley started school back in September she was a totally different child.  She was extremely shy and cried every morning when I dropped her off at school.  It broke my heart to see her like that but I knew that eventually she’d come around and love school… So what if it took almost four months.  Now, eight months later, she is so sad that school is over.  She tells me everyday that she doesn’t want to have a summer vacation because she loves school.  I just keep reminding her that she’ll enjoy the break and she’ll be going back in September.

Back to today… For weeks Brinley and her little class of seven other kids have been preparing for their end of the year musical program and graduation.  She’s been singing all sorts of songs at home that she has learned in school and I was very curious to see how this would all play out live on stage at school.  The day finally arrived and she got dressed up in a cute little dress.  She was so excited this morning to perform for us at school and to take part in the finale.  I dropped her off at the usual 9am and ran home to finish getting myself and Nora ready.  I knew that I’d need to get there a little earlier than 10am to be sure to get a seat.  But when I pulled into the school parking lot at 9:35am and there was not a single spot in sight, I was a little taken aback.  I finally found a place to park and headed inside.  When I got inside the gymnasium I was once again surprised to see that nearly every single seat had already been taken or reserved.  From talking with another mom, I learned that some parents had gotten to the school as early as 8am to reserved their seats.  (At least I’ll know better for next year!)  Anyway, I managed to find a seat for Nora and I but Scott would have to stand when he arrived.

The show started and Brinely’s class was the second to preform.  She walked perfectly into the gym with her classmates and lined up on the stage all ready to sing.  She saw us and smiled and the look on her face was of such joy.  It truly melted my heart.  Then they began to sing and my once quite little girl was up there as proud as can be belting out the words to every single song.  It made me so proud and I began to feel my throat get tight and my eyes well up with tears.  And trust me I am NOT a sappy person.  I held back the tears but it was an emotional moment to say the least.  Brinley recieved her diploma and walked down from the stage with the rest of her class.  The entire performance (for her class) lasted maybe 8 minutes but those were 8 minutes that I’ll never forget.

Seeing your children grow up and change and be so proud of themselves is amazing.  And knowing that your love, support and guidance has brought them to that place is a very overwhelming feeling.  I am so proud of my little girl and though I’d like her to stay little forever, I am so excited to watch her continue to grow and prosper.  I have no doubt that she will achieve great things in life.

Now, can someone pass me the tissues? ::sob, sob::

How did this happen?

Who took away my baby and replaced her with this child??

She doesn’t look like a baby anymore! :-(  I can not believe how big she looks.  She’s walking all over the place, eating “real” food and just growing so much.  I feel like the past 10 and a half months have gone by so fast.  I feel like I was just in the hospital having her.  This is just craziness!

Oh and what about this one??

She has somehow transformed from my baby girl into this “kid”.  I have no idea how it happened.  Just last night Scott and I were looking at pictures of her first days of preschool this year, from September.  She looked like such a little baby in those pictures.  Since then she has completely lost her little baby face.  I can’t believe she is already three and a half (and she acts much older, most of the time).

It’s been quite a ride watching these two grow and I wouldn’t change it for the world.  I’m really sad that the baby days are behind us, but I’m extremely excited for what the future has to bring for both of them.

What will she remember?

Every day I am amazed by my three and a half year old.  From the things that she says to the way that she acts, she is truly unbelievable.  Just the other day she asked me, “Mom, when daddy was little, was he my brother?”  Her innocence is amazing and it always gets me thinking.  Did I ask these types of questions when I was her age?  Did I do the things that she does?  When she’s my age, will she remember being three and a half?

I don’t know if I remember being three and a half or not.  I have so many childhood memories, but I can’t remember how old I was when they happened.  I remember my grandfather putting me into a 5 gallon bucket and swinging me around.  It was the greatest thing ever, at least I thought so when I was young.  I remember my brother pushing me around the house in a diaper box and then convincing me that it would be fun to ride down the stairs in said box.  This was not the greatest thing ever.  I remember my first trip to the dentist and how he threatened to throw away my brand new sneakers if I didn’t open my mouth.  I remember making mud pies, playing in the tree house, and swinging on the tire swing in my back yard.  But I can’t remember how old I was when any of these things happened.  I know I was younger than six because they all happened before we moved.

I want Brinley to remember all of the amazing things that she has done at this age.  She makes me so proud everyday.  I feel she is at the age where she is truly becoming herself, if that makes any sense.  She is developing a personality (a strong one at that) and learning her likes and dislikes.  She is trying new things and coming out of her shell in so many ways.  She’s overcoming obstacles and taking risks.

A few weeks ago after bath time, Scott and I were getting the girls ready for bed and we just looked at each other, both thinking the same thing, “When did she get this big?”  She is growing up right before our eyes.  I am excited to see what type of person she will become but at the same time I don’t want her to grow up.

What is your earliest memory?  Do you remember how old you were when it happened?  Do you remember anything about being three and a half?

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