When we had our children two years apart we knew there'd be times when their milestones managed to overlap. Big moments coming at us all at once.
Wait, first you need to understand something about me. I'm not the type of mom that really mourns the passing of a particular stage. I didn't get sad to see my baby grow to toddler. IN fact, I was almost relieved. I adore my children. I loved their little fingers and their baby quirks...but frankly, I'm really not a big 'infant' fan. I prefer the interaction and the give and take that the toddler years brought and I'm loving these preschool years. We get to a new beginning and I get excited about what comes next - to excited to miss what we're leaving behind.
So, you see, when it came to the big "start of school' ages, I didn't expect any lump in the throat or catch in the chest. I figured it'd be more of the same. More building excitement. More "yup, we're moving on and that's ok." what I didn't bank on is that it'd come all at once. . . even though I knew it would.
A few days ago we began to get information about Kindergarten registration. Our son will turn 5 over the summer and begin school in September. He's excited. He can't wait for the bus and the 'real big kid school.' He's practically counting down the days.
Then today I reach into my mailbox and see a familiar return address - our preschool. What was different was the way the envelope was addressed. It was in regards to my daughter. My baby. She'll turn 3 in September and she'll begin preschool at the same time. She's dying to go. She's begging. She's even willing to give up the diapers to go. (In fact upon seeing the letter today she ran to the bathroom giggling about being a big girl! Granted, she put a pull-up on right after that, but hey, baby steps.)
There it was - all at once. One off to elementary school and the other starting her adventure at preschool -- all at once. Suddenly I found myself looking at my oldest thinking "Wow, he's going to ride that school bus next year on his own. Without me? How's he going to get to class? Holy cow!" Then I looked at my headstrong daughter, "She's really going to sit in circle time? She's going to be gone for two mornings a week...on her own?"
It wasn't that one kid was on the precipice of a giant leap forward -- it was that both were, all at once. And suddenly that lump started to build and my heart skipped a little beat.