On my morning run, there is a hill on the way home that overlooks a hill of trees. For quite a few weeks, there were only branches that I had to squint to see since the sun wasn’t quite all the way awake. But today, there were so many bright, green leaves. When did this happen? Why did I not notice it before?
It is difficult to pin the exact moment when the dead winter grass turned a vibrant shade of green that I forgot existed given our long, brutal winter. The change from winter to spring happened so slowly that I barely noticed it was happening.
This gradual change that yields a big ta-da moment is similar to raising kids.
When the kids were babies and their first smiles emerged, I would wonder if it was gas. After a few weeks, I would become certain that these were real, happy smiles, yet I never had a solid date to put down in the baby book since it happened so gradually.
I remember peeking in on Thomas when he was in his crib. I could hear a lot of rattling around and could see that he was plotting his escape. He started with pulling himself up on the side. A few days later he would try and put a leg up over the side. Eventually, he swung the other leg over and let go of the side – he had finally accomplished his goal of springing out of his comfy, little prison. It didn’t happen all at once, but once he accomplished his goal, it was definitive and exact – and there was no going back.
For me, nothing, in terms of raising kids, happens in a flash. Watching him grow from a little baby to a fully articulate little boy happened so gradually that I am having a hard believing that I have a baby that has graduated from preschool.
Raising kids is like a crazy experiment – I never really know if I am doing it right.
So I will take a moment to dwell success in the fact that he is ready for kindergarten. But these big moments of triumph are studded with sadness that time moves on and there is no going back.
But for now, I am just going to focus on how proud I am of him.
How do you feel about the graduation milestone? Happy? Sad? Both?