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The State of Change

kindergarten-585Yesterday I stepped outside after a long day being indoors. There was a crispness in the air that hadn’t been there the day before. It was cool enough that I almost felt silly wearing flip-flops, a tank and shorts. Not silly enough to change, but silly enough to make a mental note that I need to go dig in my closet and unearth some warmer clothing quickly. Which also means I need to go through the kids’ clothes and decide what can be used during the winter, what needs to be retired for good, and if there’s anything from the last time they wore pants that they can wear again this fall (unlikely). The seasonal chore of going through clothing is always a reminder that the kiddos are constantly growing — there is no pause button on those guys.

My two big kids started school last week. After having gone to their daycare program that I loved, it was time for my oldest to start kindergarten. I ended up putting No. 2 in the preschool program there and then today the little one starts her very own half-day program. It’ll be nice to have dedicated mornings to work again instead of trying to work bleary-eyed at 10 p.m. after a full day of taking care of the kiddos, as I’ve been doing for the last couple of months. But having one in kindergarten was a change that snuck up on me and then smashed me in the face. I knew it was coming. And it’s not like I’d never been away from her for school or daycare. But dropping her off at kindergarten felt different; different even than dropping her brother off for preschool at the very same school. It felt like the moment when the wings I’d been trying to help her strengthen had their true test to see if they could fly.

I really held it together at drop-off. But had my husband not been with me to talk it out, I would have been a blubbering mess walking down the street. Instead, I didn’t shed a tear until later. Later, when I’d picked up my son from his half-day program and we came home to get lunch. Later, when he went out to the sandbox to play by himself — where just the day before he and my daughter had been lost in summertime fun, building castles and making sand pies. The empty space she left in her absence was palpable.

Of course, even just four days in, we’re adjusting to the new normal. It’s different, but not bad. She makes up for the quiet that happens in her absence with the noise explosion that happens when we’re all back together after the school day. My son’s way of showing that he misses his sister terribly is to annoy the crap out of her, stealing toys and doing typical obnoxious brotherly behavior. Avery responds with loud screaming shrieks; it’s like there is a daily decibel quota that must be filled, and it always gets filled in our house.

Kids change so quickly and as soon as one stage ends, another begins. Bittersweet with chronic heartbreak, this parenting game.

Speaking of changes, if you didn’t notice the new look of the site, look around! Just like Fit Bottomed Girls just got a facelift, so did we (along with Eats). It should be a little easier on the eyes and a little easier to navigate on your mobile devices. We’re also celebrating You Can Do It Week over there, so if you need a change of your own, head there for how to begin.

Are you dealing with changes right now? It’s a lot of change in our house right now, but I certainly plan to give myself a little more love in the form of “me time” as my life starts to balance itself out again. —Erin

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