Tuesday, August 16, 2011

On Unexpected Joys and Blessings (A Guest Post)

Annie blogs over at Six Ring Circus - where she spends her days raising four - count 'em, FOUR! -children. Frankly, I think she deserves some sort of medal for that, and not just because she's funny and wise and blogs it all so beautifully, either.

I am delighted to feature her mad writing and raising-of-little-people skills here at Life With Bellymonster. Annie is a gifted writer and an awesome mum. Best of all, she is also my friend.

Here's Annie:

The Day My Baby Became a Preschooler

The phrase “Monday my school?” has been my 3-year-old’s obsession this summer.

Taz can hardly wait for his first day of preschool and is convinced every tomorrow is a Monday.

Early one morning, before the sun peeked through the curtains, he came to my side of the bed and whispered, “Monday my school?”

I didn’t even try to explain how it’s not. He doesn’t understand what Monday is, or how long a summer lasts. Instead of arguing with him I simply agreed.

“Yes, sweetie. Monday is your school.”

“I need to color my paper,” he whispered and I saw a gleam in his eye. He padded back
to bed. I think he must have been dreaming about it. All his anticipation and dreaming can finally end.

Preschool started this month. On a Tuesday.

I gave him the traditional back-to-school haircut. I watched the soft white fuzz fall on his shoulders and remembered how it stuck up all over on his head when he was born.

On Tuesday morning I cheered, “Finally! Monday My School is today!”

Taz grinned and quickly got to work preparing for his morning away from mommy.

He eagerly packed the mandatory change of clothes in his Lightening McQueen backpack. As I helped him, I wondered if I should feel a little heartbroken. This is the fourth time I have sent a child off to preschool and this will be my last.

I’m giddy. I’m ready. I’m dreaming of all the things I will accomplish in 3 hours of alone time. The deep cleaning and organizing that has taken a back seat to the baby and his three siblings can finally be tackled. The storage room might just get organized and I might make a dent in the scrapbooks I’m behind on. I’m hopeful, at least.

My baby is ready to spread his wings, too. He is happy and anxious, thrilled to become a Big Kid and have his own school just like his siblings. He knows his teacher and he loves her. She’s taught all of Taz’s older siblings. She’s practically part of the family, an extension of us.

As we drove into town I thought back to the baby Taz was, all chub and drool. His cowlicks created a spike of wild hair on his head. I blinked and he became a little boy,with bruises on his shins and a mouth full of tiny white teeth.

I’m happy in this moment. Every stage of life is full of blessings and challenges.

Embracing Taz’s enthusiasm, I joyfully walked him to the door and snapped a few pictures. We find his cubby and hang up his backpack. I turn, anticipating a final hug but he is gone. He is off to play and explore, secure in his role as preschooler.

I wave goodbye and slip out the door. The door shuts quietly but firmly. I feel one chapter ending and anticipate all the unexpected joys the next chapter will hold. A pool of happy tears well in my eyes and threaten to spill over.

 I feel blessed.

* * *

And you? Which blessings have you counted, lately?


  1. Love that pic of Taz with the backpack that's as big as he is. We gave away our high chair last week and it was one of those moments. We'd had a food-dropper in that chair for seven straight years. Kind of sad.

  2. This so beautifully sums up what so many mums I know are going through - a few tears, tempered with excitement.

    Luke starts JK this fall and I'm trying hard not the grieve the loss of these years, so swiftly gone.


    Glad you're here to guide me through, Annie!

  3. So beautiful. It's a treat to read this as a moment of "sweet," instead of "bittersweet," which is always how I imagine I'll experience it.

    Also? Congrats, mama. :)

  4. Okay, so you did the dance, right? They are all in school now? So what are you going to do for those 3 glorious hours?

    Great post. We mothers have all been there: the letting go part.

    But sometimes I am the only one -- amidst sobbing mothers -- actually doing the dance.

    Is that bad?

  5. That's beautiful! totally brought a tear to my eye.
    I remember my twins first day of kindergarten. They hugged each other (they were in different classes for the first time) and off they ran. No though to mom...
    And, four kids...school aged now, congrats, Mama!

  6. Thanks so much everyone. It warms my heart that you all loved it. I had a fender-bender on Tuesday that completely derailed my week! That's why I'm so slow getting back with you all!

    Yes, Renee - I did the dance! So happy. I'm happy and the kids are happy. It's win-win.

    Chase - I had "the moment" after number #2 when I purged all the baby stuff. Then (cough, cough) had two more. LOL I'm truly done, now. Gave it all away but the crib. I can't seem to let that go.

    Ah, Elena - I can only imagine how it was to see your twins hug and go separate ways. So sweet.

    Thanks Deb, Liz, and Leigh - this was the perfect ending to a pretty difficult week. (hugs)