Okay, so I'm totally aware that all of you with older kids are just itching to say Just Wait Until (Insert Random Milestone Here) while I wax poetic and get all misty-eyed because my little girl took one step further away from me today when she walked out of preschool for the very last time. I get it all the time from a high school friend with a middle schooler on her hands.
You think this is bad? Just wait until...
And then I roll my eyes, tell her I'm just going to concentrate on now, because I want to remember the excitement in Buttercup's eyes as she slipped on her cap and gown for her graduation ceremony and the way she poured her heart into the song her class sang for us sobbing mothers. And the tears and smeared mascara and laughing at myself because I forgot to put tissues in my purse even though every mother at the preschool who had been through the routine before had warned me. I want to remember that, too.
How much she loves her teachers and how she insisted we invite them both to her birthday party because that's what we do with friends that we love. The progress she's made throughout the year and how she has blossomed into a confident little spitfire of a girl who is no longer afraid to show the world she is proud of her abilities. Miss Jessica and Miss Monica and the little classroom family that we will miss terribly because they are incredible teachers and mentors and how I want to pack them up and just take them with me.
Eleventeen and Sangwich and maturing into Eleven and Sandwich.
Mama Read Me Another Story and Kiss My Boo Boo Make It Better and even Mama Can You Help Me Wipe My Butt are fading into Mama Can I Read This One To You Tonight and It Doesn't Hurt It's Okay Mama and Mama Can You Help Me Wipe My Butt because this is reality, people. Reality means we wash our hands with them after they go potty not because we are trying to show them how to do it properly but because we probably are the ones who did the actual wiping. And that's okay with us because it's our baby and our reality and all of the messy bits smushed together make the now that we love that will mesh into the Remember Whens that we will always hold onto.
It's okay, I tell my friend. I'm not worried about Until. In fact, Until isn't even on my radar right now. Because now is all about This. All of it.
She walked out of the preschool today a little graduate and a member of the class of 2025, ready to take on Kindergarten when the new school year starts at the end of July. She was in her daddy's arms, her red-cowboy boots hanging lower on his 6'1'' frame than even just a few months ago. And I will remember this moment.