Kindergarten has been a big step for our Bella and it doesn’t seem that the firsts show any sign of slowing down anytime soon. I have mixed emotions about all of this. For the most part of it, I am very excited for my Bella. Unfortunately, the fact that I left the girls overnight for the first time ever coupled with the fact that she has had about 4 firsts in the past week, add to that me trying to upload photos and stumbling into a folder with photos of my Bella when she was newborn to about 2 years old and on top of that add the Bette Midler song Baby Mine and I am sitting here, alone in the middle of the night, feeling a bit emotional. As always, I share these moments with you, my friends.
Last Tuesday, while we were at ballet class with Gabs, Bella and I were sitting in the car waiting for Gabs to be done. Bella was in the passenger seat spelling out words ( She is getting to be such a big girl) and I am reading. I hear the click clack of her Barbie laptop stop, I glance over and there she is..tying her shoe..all.by.herself! It really felt a lot like those first steps she took when she was about 10 months old. I was so proud. She’s only been shown once. She amazes me. Where did that helpless little baby go? How can I be so happy and so sad simultaneously? Mostly, I was proud. Just ask any of my friends and family…I took a picture of it and mass texted it to them all.
|First Shoe Tie 9/21/10|
Then on Wednesday, we had our first rehearsal for the Nutcracker. I can’t believe that 3 years have already passed since she first started ballet. She was such a tiny thing when she first began and now she is a snowflake. She looked like such a big girl ballerina in her leotard, tights, and performance bun. I do realize its the same thing she wears to class every single week for class. But something is different, my Bella is different. She is growing up every hour of every single day.Letting go, even a little, hurts a lot but thank God it is dulled by the happiness that she shows on her face when she accomplishes something that she has set her mind to. It amazes me what a strong characterful little person she is at such a young age.
|First Nutcracker Rehearsal for the Snowflakes 9/22/10. This is the photo that broke the Big Guys heart because he had to miss this moment.|
Then on Thursday, she came home with 2 declarations. The first one was “Mommy, I was chosen as one of the stars of the day.” Me: “Great,baby!I’m so proud of you!” Bella: ( a little bashful) “Umm, Mommy, the star of the day gets a piece of bubblegum.” And with that she pulls a little baggy from behind her back, with one little red gumball in it. She is smiling so big that I can hardly stand it. Me;”Bella, you know you are too young for gum.” Who the hell gives gum to kindergartners? This is the same teacher who is so strict about no unhealthy snacks.Yeah, OK. I am watching as Bella’s face is losing its smile. Bella: “But Mommy, the other stars got one too!” How could I deny her her reward that she was so obviously proud to have been chosen to receive. I told her that we would split it, and she could chew it for 5 minutes in my eyesight, but from now on she would have to put them in a Ziploc, put them in the freezer and save them until she’s 8! I know, very random solution but it satisfied her for the moment. I’m not a fan of gum for kids…bad for teeth, choking hazard, etc.
The next declaration was a little more substantial, thank goodness we had spat our gum out or I may have swallowed mine. Bella, puts her hand on her hip, has a very nervous look on her face and says,”Mommy,I’ve got to tell you something” Me: “Yes, Bella, what do you need to tell me?” Bella: “Mommy, I like Bill* (*names have been changed to protect the innocent) and Bill likes me!” She’s blushing, so I am pretty sure I know what that means. But I don’t want to embarrass her. I want her to be able to tell me anything.But, I had to know,”Bella, do you mean like a boyfriend?” Bella: (blushing and giggling and averting eye contact) “No, Mommy..like he’s my best friend!” I heard what she said, but I also saw what her face said, that little face that I have read every single day for the past 5 and a half years..her little heart is happy. She has her first crush.
Today, as I was waiting for Bella to come out of class ( she is one of only 4 half day kindergartners) and so is Bill*. Bill’s mother sits down next to me and says, “I was told to be here early , I have been given strict orders to find out from you when the Nutcracker performances are because Bill* said he has to go see Bella in the Nutcracker.” We both giggled, because its obviously the sweetest thing either of us have ever heard…ever. But, oh my God, I won’t lie it choked me up just a bit. As we’re pulling out, Bella and Gabs are gleefully screaming “Bye, Bill!” And the cutest little boy ever waves them both on. In the car ride home, Bella informs me that I must talk to his mother about setting up a play date with Bill*. She continues on and tells me that the two of them were talking about it. She told him he could come over and play dress up with her. She told him he could be a fairy. He said,”Nah, I have a cape with jewels on it. I can be the prince and you can be my princess!” Priceless. do you hear that “Awwwww” in your head too? Or is it just me? It also makes me wonder, am I scheduling a play date or just a date?
This, of course, catapults me about 20 years into the future and I can already feel myself losing that helpless little baby I met on the day she was born to the man of her dreams on her wedding day. I am now more convinced than ever that parenthood is misery peppered with moments of profound bliss. God has given us these little people that steal our hearts, our minds, and our bodies and then in the end they leave us alone to miss them. Now, I understand why grandchildren are so important..its a way for parents to have a little part of their children back. Its probably also why grand kids can get away with so much. Parents have already felt the loss of their children growing up and leaving and have a new barometer of what is acceptable behavior and what is not. To be able to hold your children in that moment when they are little perpetually would be worth almost any price to have again, once they are grown. For now, I am going to cherish every single first, smile, giggle, even the tantrums and heartbreak because this time passes too quickly. Baby of Mine!