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August 21, 2013

Coping with New Milestones

I had a tough time last week.

It was the girls’ first week of four-year old preschool.  I wasn’t emotional about that…but rather about the realization that this is their last year of preschool.  This time next year, I’ll be walking them into KINDERGARTEN.  Gulp.

That’s a full year away, though, so while it is incredulous, I didn’t allow myself to dwell on it.

The kicker was that I was due to drop off things for the semi-annual consignment sale.  In addition to a trunk-load of clothes, it was time to bid farewell to the girls’ crib bedding AND my trusty diaper bag.  Double gulp.

Don’t get me wrong…I don’t miss the days of packing that ginormous bag full of diapers and wipes and changes of clothes…but that bag was faithfully by my side during the girls’ entire first three years.  It saw vacations, visits to the doctor, play dates, and parks.  I half considered hanging onto it, as it’s a rough-and-tumble member of our family.  I finally convinced myself that I have plenty of other bags, though, and I don’t really need the little elastic holders for bottles anymore.

The girls’ bedding was also emotional.  I remember having such fun shopping for just the perfect quilt set when I was pregnant.  I knew then that I would probably only ever be shopping for crib bedding once in my life, so I made sure to enjoy the process.

I remember laboriously ironing the dust ruffles, and then trying to direct Hubby to get them in place, just right.

I remember tying on the bumpers with pretty little bows…only to take them down not long after the girls started sleeping in their cribs, after I learned that bumpers were no longer recommended.

Sigh.  What sweet, sweet memories.

I got myself together, motivated by the money I hope to earn from the sale, which I plan to put towards iPads for the girls (!!!). 

A couple of days ago, I finally got myself in gear to order the girls’ big-girl bedding.  We’d looked together at several sets on online, but that has been a while ago now.  I decided to make the final decision myself…and I’m hoping to surprise them with their new room in the new house!

While the sweet spot in my heart is still tender at thoughts of my diaper bag and crib bedding, my mind is racing with what fun things I can do to finish off the girls’ room.  The bedding is en route, and I have plans for a ribbon wreath for their door.  I want to buy little lamps for their nightstands, and I need to re-mat some artwork for their walls.  I’d like to paint a canvas for them, too…if I can make the time over the next couple of weeks.

I’ve been focused on the fun of decorating, but it occurs to me that this is a much larger feeling.

Our precious girls are such a blessing to us, and we’re doing our very best to enjoy each and every day (if not each and every moment).  Time passes before our eyes, and there’s nothing we can do to change that.  We just try to be present in the moment, recognizing that those moments don’t last long.  While it’s sometimes bittersweet to reach a new milestone, there’s so much to look forward to in the future.

It’s trite but true: life’s a journey, not a destination.  Enjoy the ironing, appreciate the weight of the bag on your shoulder.  Tomorrow will hold something new and exciting.  And you’ll always have the memories of yesterday, made sweeter by the fact that they are, ultimately, fleeting.


Amanda said...

Isn't it funny how it is so hard to let go of certain things? I can't let go of my nursing pillow. It's huge and has no other purpose. Maybe one day I can let it go, but for now, it is in my closet and will remain there taking up space until I can let go. (I can't sell it because it has more than a bit of bodily fluid stains... my girls were MESSY nursers!)

I also have a few of my absolute favorite outfits that they wore tucked away. These I'll probably never give away.

Mandy said...

It's a good thing this house doesn't have a basement, or those ladies might never see those iPads! Lol! I'll admit I might have a tote, or 3, of stuff I'm hanging on to. There just might be two newborn buntings still hanging in my laundry room too! Great Job Mama!

Cheryl Lage said...

Oh Dear Mandy, it's hard sometimes, isn't it? My man's twin-raising mantra "two and through" was nice during the sleepless newborn era and potty training --- but it's oh-so-tough when you realize they're "through" with those not-yet-in-school days.

Ours head to MIDDLE SCHOOL this year. I can scarcely believe it...teary, terrified and totally excited for them....all at the same time.

Hang in there, Friend. <3

Anonymous said...

aw, mama! your girls are getting so big. and you will remember so much of it!!

xx and congrats as you move into this next phase and group of milestones!!!

Deanna said...

Aww, Mandy! What a sweet post. I am not very sentimental, usually, but sometimes I do have a moment of panic. It helps that I enjoy these older stages so much more than the baby all just gets more fun to me, so I try to focus on that! : )

(And this reminds me that I need to pull out my diaper bag for our upcoming yard sale...I'm not really sure WHY I've kept it all this time...certainly not for sentimental reasons!!)

Marcia (123 blog) said...

I love this post! So tender and heartfelt - I can feel all your emotions through your words.

Good on you for letting go. TO be brutally honest, I'd let go much easier if we had things like twin groups and consignment sales but we just donate things (can sell bigger items.) I have a sling and a travel eating seat - that's it! Oh and a nursing pillow but we use those for when they're sick and need to lift their heads to breathe easier.