I’ve hesitated to write and share this post because I know it’s been written and shared a thousand times before. These things I’m feeling have been felt hundreds and hundreds of times over again. It is not unique. I have this fear of sounding cliché, so I don’t allow myself to say anything at all. But ultimately, this space is where I can process my thoughts. And that needs to be done regardless of how many people have thought the very same things before me.
Three weeks from tomorrow, Jericho will start kindergarten.
I have been his primary caregiver nearly every day since he was born over five years ago. The days filled with the little things have often dragged by. Sometimes an individual day seemed longer than an entire year felt, looking back. I suppose that’s why everyone says “the days are long but the years are short.” Oh how true that is.
When I was a new mom (and admittedly, sometimes still), I rolled my eyes when people told me that the time would fly by. When they told me to enjoy every moment. “They must not remember what it’s like to function on little to no sleep,” I thought.
I still don’t think it’s possible to enjoy every moment. Time is fleeting, yes. But that doesn’t mean it’s all sunshine and rainbows. There are some phases that I’m happy are gone. I like uninterrupted sleep, thank you.
Like many moms, though, I find myself wishing I had slowed down more and soaked up the sweet little things about each stage. The cozy snuggles. The way he wrapped his pudgy arms and legs around me when I carried him. The softness of his hair when I would kiss the top of his head. The feeling that sometimes, I was the only person in the entire world he wanted. The one who could feed him and comfort him and rock him off to sleep.
It was never difficult, deciding to quit my job and stay home with him. Honestly it’s what I dreamt of doing from the time I was just a child myself. I do not regret the choice I made.
But time moves on. Children grow up. People and circumstances and relationships change. Jericho starts school this year. Anna will start preschool next year. School is on my horizon in the near future as well. Life is very different now from what it was when Jericho was born. I am very different.
I have no desire to go backward. I am not sad that he isn’t a baby anymore. I am proud of who he has become and excited to see who he will grow to be as he journeys through school. This year is the start of a new era. It’s the start of something great.
And with beginnings, of course, inevitably come endings. My heart is so full of gratitude for these last five years. They haven’t been easy. On the contrary, they have been the most difficult five years of my life. But oh, they have been worth it. I wouldn’t trade them for anything.
So here’s to an ending, a beginning and above all, an amazing young man who brings a smile to my face, renews my sense of wonder and curiosity with the world around me, and makes me want to be a better person simply by calling me “mama.”
I love you, buddy. I am so very glad you’re mine.