How in the world did this happen? My beautiful little baby isn't a baby anymore. Starting today (dun...dun...dun) she is a full fledged First Grader. That's right, my oldest child started First Grade and I am not handling it well. In fact, I patently refuse to handle it gracefully.
In all honesty I should have been prepared for this day. My Father spent all of my childhood telling me that time was ticking by too quickly. The problem is, I just figured he was being melodramatic. To me childhood seemed to last an eternity. Surely, when I had kids it wouldn't feel that way. I know if my Dad were alive today he would find great humor in watching this all unfold. He loved to say I told you so.
Oh, I know I still have several more years of childhood to survive, but this really is the beginning of the end. My cuddly little toddler is gone. In her place is this beautiful and inquisitive child who wants desperately to get her ears pierced. This week First Grade, up next college and a nose ring.
My Father always said if you do your job right your kids will eventually fire you. I have accepted the fact that parenting doesn't come with good job security, but I really thought I would have plenty of time to figure out my next move. Now, as she enters First Grade, I know that I don't! The empty nest phase is coming. I am not going to lie, this thought panics me. What will my future hold? A small dog that I dress up and one of those strange dog strollers? Oh, I just don't want to think about it right now. I am pretty sure my husband doesn't want to think about that scenario either.
Don't get me wrong. The next adventure will be a wonderful one. I am sure First Grade and all the grades after will hold many amazing memories for my daughter and hopefully for me as well. I may not like change, but change is good. I just can't help but slightly grieve for the loss of her baby and toddler years. Time is wicked and it marches on while you aren't looking.
Today, as I do every first day of the school year, I took a picture of my gorgeous little girl all decked out with her new backpack. I will place that photo in her school years album. Maybe, just maybe, when she is all grownup and her little girl needs a show and tell for the letter "F" she will pull it out. "F" after all is for First Grade. I hope it will remind her to cherish every moment. Time is fleeting.
Now if you will excuse me, I am going to try to put on my brave Mommy face and pretend that I am not a mess. Good luck to all the anxious parents this week. Happy Back to School!