September 12, 2011 by Shannon
I just don’t understand it. Why, oh WHY, does time seem to go so quickly once you’re no longer a kid and have kids of your own? I know I’m feeling all mopey because Kellan is starting another year of preschool – his last before he goes to kindergarten. That transition, coupled with the fact that my baby girl is one now, has me reeling. Where is the time going? And why do I suddenly have a giant streak of gray in my hair?
I guess I can understand the gray hair thing. I have genetics and two small kids to blame for that one. But I seriously cannot wrap my head around how it is that my kids are growing so quickly.
I had to cut Kellan’s hair the weekend before his first day. He was constantly pushing it out of his eyes, so it was time. The cut took a while – I never said I was a good barber – and when I was finally done, Kellan couldn’t wait to get up and run around. As I watched him dart around the backyard, I thought about how now we’re cutting his hair shorter. No more moppy toddler head. And he looks like a totally different kid. An older kid.
And then, on the first day of school, I decided it was a good idea to let him choose one of his new T-shirts to wear. That only made me feel worse. Not only did my kiddo have a “big boy” haircut, but he trotted off into his classroom in a shirt I’m not familiar with. One that I haven’t put through the laundry 100 times and worked hard to get stains out of. It’s like I hardly knew the short-haired, stripey-shirted boy strolling in to greet his teachers.
When I picked him up, it was just like all the other pickups of his last preschool year. His new teacher handed me a delicate, still-wet piece of art to take home, and we were the last ones to leave because Kellan always has “just one more thing” to tell a handful of different people. It felt comfortable, like we’ve been doing these lengthy preschool pickup sessions for years and years.
But in the back of my mind there is this nagging voice, reminding me not to get used to it. Soon I’ll be wondering where the time went, as I pick him up from his last day of preschool. And he will change this year. He will learn new words, ask me new questions, make new friends. Once next summer comes, he’ll be a little bit taller, a little bit more confident, and a little bit less of a little kid.
It is bittersweet, this parenting thing. And I will never stop wishing that it comes with a pause button.