Looking Ahead

Little Miss turned two on Friday.  My best friend’s daughter, Bug, turned two on Thursday.  This morning, I snapped this picture of Little Miss headed out for daycare:

Yes, she is wearing a cute dress, and yes, she’s putting on red heels.  (They’re dress-up shoes she got for her birthday.)  Then, later this morning my friend posted a photo of Bug wearing a cute dress, heels, carrying a handbag, and wearing matching earrings, necklace, and bracelet.  In the photo, Bug is standing next to a wall by the front door, and suddenly, something terrifying struck me: That looks like a first day of school photo!

Of course, we have a few years until we snap those must-have pictures, but I’m sure they will fly by like hours…perhaps minutes.  Perhaps this is on my mind recently because my niece, who will be five in a month, is hoping to start kindergarten in just a few short weeks.  Perhaps it’s because my supervisor has been talking about school starting for the last two weeks because where I live the elementary, middle, and junior high schools start in about two weeks.  In some cities in-state, registration is today.  It can’t already be nearly fall…can it?!?

Seeing these pictures and thinking these thoughts, I am reminded of something I heard long before Little Miss arrived: “Treasure every moment, every phase, and even every frustration.  It all goes by so fast.”  I took that to heart, and even when Little Miss was a few months old I found myself crying on Husband’s shoulder, telling him I didn’t want her to ever grow up.  (I’m fairly certain he thought I was being ridiculous, but, being the wise man that he is, he simply hugged me, patted me on the back, and handed me a tissue.)

My mantra throughout the last two and a half years (ever since I got pregnant in October 2008), has been, “Treasure the Moment.”  I remind myself constantly that even though I’m frustrated with her lack of interest in dinner or inability to sleep through the night, or refusing every outfit I select for her in the morning, that she’s still my little girl, and right now she lets me treat her like one.  But the time is flying by and soon the fun parts of this stage will end and we’ll enter a new phase, never to return.

So I will treasure her adorable independence, even when it’s not so adorable.  I’ll smile at her preference for driving toy cars around on the dining room floor even when I wish she’d just sit in her chair and eat her pasta already!  I’ll enjoy the 2 a.m. snuggles, even when I’d prefer to be in bed.

After all…isn’t that what what being a parent is all about?

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