I am in an interesting position. Here in southern Mississippi a new school year is starting. I have plenty of friends celebrating this milestone in their children’s lives, but since Moose is not school aged yet, I am experiencing a whole different array of emotions. I was a text book nerd growing up, so I can’t wait to celebrate this coming of age with Moose and Fox when the time comes. But today, I am overcome with the reminder to let them be little.
I never saw being a SAHM in my plans, but it is something I have grown to love. This path has given me the opportunity to watch my littles first hand as they grow and reach so many remarkable milestones. And to be completely honest, I’m not ready to let that go. It’s possible that Moose will be entering structured schooling this time next year and it saddens me to think I could possibly starting my final year with Moose by my side day in and day out.
I know starting school is path every child takes, but it totally reinforces the thought that it goes by in the blink of an eye. While forging friendships with other moms, I have been exposed to so many schooling options available to young children. And while I’m not saying anyone is wrong for pursuing these options, I have elected not to pursue preschool. I sometimes wonder if our society is encouraging our kids to grow faster than nature?
When we hold our baby in our arms for the first time it’s hard to realize how quickly that season will change. In The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, she states “The days are long but the years are short.” This may be the truest statement about raising children. Day in and day out, we are tasked with endless projects that fill a mom’s life (preparing food, cleaning children, dishes, cleaning children, laundry, picking up toys- did I mention cleaning children?); these day to day chores seem to endlessly fill our time and we are left searching for a break. But in the blink of an eye, our baby becomes a toddler, our toddler becomes a kid, our kid becomes a (gasp) teenager, and, dare I say it, our teenager becomes an adult.
While I look forward to my littles starting school and the chaos it entails, I want to remind myself to stop and enjoy this time with them as little children. When they ask me to chase them even though I’m tired- give in to the chase. Start one more tickle fight and the let sweet music of their laughter fill the air. Cherish the snotty nosed cuddles; show patience as they learn new things; pick them up and dance for the fun of it; play cars one more time. Over this next year, I want to make memories to hang on to and not look back wishing I could have this time to do again. For the next year I am going to Let Them be Little.