Tonight, I picked out clothes for my daughter's first day of school.
I have a school aged child.
She is SUPER excited. She doesn't get to go the school every day, since there is not enough staff to handle Kindergartners. But she is going for the first day "Opening" in which mean ol' Principal McCoy (aka Daddy) lays down the law, has a few contests, treats them to donut holes and other first day exciting activities.
All day long she has been saying to us, "Don't forget to walk me up early early in the morning for school!" No matter how many times we assure her that we will have her up and ready in time, she seems to be really anxious over us forgetting that it's her first day. And I just loved when she throw in: "Mom, we better remind Dad because you don't get up in the night time morning like he does."
While her and I decided what she'd wear tomorrow, I told her the sweater she'd picked wouldn't work because it wasn't in dress code because it has writing on it.
"What's dress code?" Oh man. So much for her to get accustomed to.
"It's like the rules for what you're allowed to wear to school, and if you aren't in dress code you get a demerit." I said.
"What's a demerit?" She wanted to know.
"You get a demerit when you do something against the rules."
"And you get put into jail?"
"No... you don't get put into jail.
"Do you have to pay money?"
"Do you get hit on the head?"
"NO!" What in the world? Where'd that come from? Kids are so weird.
By now, I'm thinking nothing much actually does happen when you get a demerit. You just get one. Nothing quite so bad like jail, or fines, or whacks on the head.
"You don't get to play when the other kids get to. And you get 3 in a day, you get in BIG TROUBLE."
None of this seemed to lessen her excitement for her first day. ☺
I'm excited for her. But amazed that it's here already. She is no longer a baby, or toddler or preschooler. She's a school aged kid. *gulp* Just a little ways away from being a bonefide Big Kid.
This parenting thing is intense. And hard and exhausting. But it seems to be going by so fast, that I know it'll be over before I know it. Not that there'll ever be a day when I'm not a parent. Because of course, each of my children will buy homes on my block and come eat dinner at my house every single evening for the rest of their lives. ☺ But even so, the days of discipline and teaching and training and punishing them, or bathing them, dressing them, nursing them, feeding them, or 24/7 care and responsibility for them will one day end. And I want to have no regrets. Which is probably an impossible goal. But how about few regrets? The days are passing quickly and I want to give it 100% while the window of training is open.
Maddie will never be a prechooler again. Never again a baby or toddler. It won't be long before other milestones are reached and I'll say good bye to her childhood entirely. So I'll mother the 4, almost 5 yr. old that she is now at full capacity, not mourning the days gone by, because I lived in those moments fully, nor to eager for the next phase for it will come in time's relentless fashion.
When it's all said and done, and my girls are all grown up, living right next door, and come check in on their elderly, yet mysteriously youthful looking mother, as she pets the pampered little lap dog that Daddy finally conceded into buying for her, complete with pink satin bow regardless of the dog's gender... I hope I can look back on these playful, tiring, messy days with satisfaction that I held nothing back and that my girls knew they were loved by a big God and a kooky mommy.