My babies are growing up. I remember when Maria was just a tiny 8 pound baby serious and somber. I remember when Mario was an 8 pound baby smiling and squirming everywhere. And now here they are ages 5 and almost three. Maria heading to kindergarten and Mario heading to preschool.
Mario’s last “full” day in the toddler room was today; his teachers (who I adore) blew up a picture of him in his helmet to hang up on the door. It included well wishes from them and the other toddlers. Maria took one look at it and cooed at him “ahh, Mario, we love you – you are so cuuute!” Amanda, the teacher who has been with him the longest, cried as we talked about his transition. I am fairly calm about it at this stage but next week will likely throw me for a loop, especially if it is hard from him to transition. I persevered through nearly three months of incessant crying each day I dropped him off until he finally got to the point of waving goodbye to me with a smile on his face. I hope the same scenario will not occur again. Maria is bummed he will not be in her room (even though she is only in her class another four weeks). She wants to nurture him for as long as possible before she heads out to big K.
I will always remember an email that my dad sent to me a while back. I still have the email in my office to lift my spirits in time of need (and god knows there have been too many times lately!). In part, he told me that he was incredibly happy that I was his oldest child because I was so good with my little sis and brother. I feel the same way with Maria. She is the best older sister a boy could have – funny, protective, daring, adventurous, warm, and generous.
I think Mario will enjoy preschool – he adores learning and one of the preschool teachers is a science nut, which is right up Mario’s alley. I think he will also continue his crazy antics and have all of his new friends in stitches within a couple of hours on his first day. He is a born comedian.
I think Maria will enjoy Kindergarten but I fear it may take her a little more time to get used to the new school, new friends, new teachers. It took her some time to get used to the new friends at her current school. She is very shy when she first meets kids her age and can be a little intimidating in her look (a total Jon characteristic!). She gets nervous and withdrawn. But, once she feels comfortable, she is just as crazy as her brother. She is still into boys and boyfriends and dating. It makes no sense to me. Age 5. How? I struggle with whether to just forbid the talk in the house or to allow her to “let it out” with the hopes that she loses all interest by the age of 7. Anyone had this issue and resolve it well? Help a struggling mom out!
There was a time years ago when I was complaining to a friend about how tired I was and irritable I was due to the lack of sleep from being up with a cranky, colicky Maria night after night. My friend looked at me directly in the eyes and retorted “You will look back at these days and wonder how they darted by so fast.” At the time, I wanted to smack her. Now, I see exactly what she meant. I still remember those days of being so tired and irritable, and I am glad that I am not getting up every two hours with a crying baby. But, they do seem like they were just here yesterday and old time has flown by past me shaking its head and sassing “told ya.” Because of that, I am more conscious of my time with these babies. I know the days of Mario lightly touching my cheek and whispering “I love you to the moon” are not going to last forever. I understand that Maria’s wish to hang out with me every second of the day will not survive ten more years. I want to embrace it while I can and hold it close to me.