Thursday, August 4, 2011

Shoes and Bicycles and Sleep Overs: Ways to Mark Your Child's Growth

I'm feeling a bit nostalgic this morning.  During last night's play date I went through my last four boxes of baby clothes and sent three of them with my friend for her new niece.  It feels really good to send them on to a new home, but at the same time I'm sad because it drove home how tiny my kids once were but are no longer.  Then I realized more events that are happening today just underscore how big my kids are. 

First of all, we kept one of our little friends for a sleep over last night.  I'm one of those moms who doesn't allow sleep overs with just anyone.  If I don't know the parents as well as I know myself, my kid won't be sleeping at their house.  Nor will other random kids sleep at my house.  But this little girl has been Miss E's good friend literally since the day she was born.  In fact, she's only six days older and they spent most of their first few years playing at least once a week.  Her mom has been one of my best friends since 1996.  She actually introduced me to my husband back in 1997.  The idea that we our kids are old enough for sleep overs feels like we've entered some sort of time warp.  Honestly - the speed with which we got to this point is mind boggling. 

Second, we're buying new shoes for school today.  For some reason seeing my kids progress through shoe sizes is a bit depressing to me.  I don't know what it is about wanting them to stay little forever, but knowing that Miss E has officially moved into Big Kid sizes really brings me down.  Miss M is hot on her heels and I don't like it. 

Third, the girls have been working their tails off to earn money this summer.  At first they both wanted to save up for a new Leapster Leap Pad (a tablet computer for kids that I'm as excited about as they are).  Then Miss E decided she'd rather have a new bike.  We looked at the bikes at the big box store yesterday and I again couldn't believe she was ready for a 20 inch bike.  I know it's been four years since she took her Christmas money and chose a bright pink 16 inch model that is now comically small for her.  Still, four years isn't that long.  The little bike is still in very good shape.  How is it she's ready for a bigger one?  It might actually break my heart a little to buy that 20 inch bike today.

Part of me says I should celebrate all these milestones because it means my kids are healthy and growing and progressing as they should.  It is fun and rewarding to see them grow more into themselves every day.  But another part of me is mourning my snugly little babies.  I wish they stayed little at least a little longer!

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