From preschool to kindergarten; my thoughts so far

imageI’m trying from time to time here to just sit and write out thoughts. Most of my posts are things I’ve thought about for awhile or specific updates about the girls or the family.

There’s a gentleman in our church who loves to tell me how much he wished he would have understood stages when his children were growing up. He’s told me on more than one occasion how hard it is to welcome a new stage while realizing that the one that just passed had fled without his realizing how precious it was.

I remember growing up almost every year in school thinking during the first week how much better last year’s teacher was than this year’s. I finally realized with some amusement that I would soon be missing the teacher I was currently griping about.

“It goes so fast!”, everyone always says. I’ve stood around in more than one group of young moms wondering what to actually do about it.

My sweet and beautiful oldest daughter started kindergarten last week.

The weird thing is – at this point, I don’t really feel like it’s flown by. I feel like I can remember every stage  either in grueling or delightful detail.

But as I now transition to being a school mom, I’m fighting the feeling of wanting to go back to those preschool days. It was so fun to basically play all day every day! I don’t think once I thought, “I can’t wait ’til she’s in school!”

I feel like I have a new baby again…what am I supposed to do with this? You mean I have to guide this child through the intricacies of education? responsibility? relationships? eventually independence?

All right, cut! Everybody, let’s just go back to the playground.

But nope, this is happening whether I want it to or not.

On the positive side, I feel like I have been praying all day every day. Not in the spiritual way, but in the “Lord, if you don’t help me I’m either going to lose it or go hide in a corner somewhere.” (slightly overdramatic)

The challenges, the tests, the stretching into new territory is a gift from God. Not just for Hope, but for me, too. It helps that her eyes have been twinkling for a whole week and she has said at least ten times a day, “I really like school!”

But how to do my best? how to trust and rest? how to self-discipline and diagnose? when to listen and when to go with your gut? These things I’m wondering about.

And how to cling to this last year I have with Sophia, and the last two years with Gracie, and the last three years with Mckayla, and how not to wish they were all in school so we could all be on the same page again.

I’m so thankful for my husband who listens so patiently.

I love my girls more than ever before.

And I’m so grateful for my Jesus who lovingly puts new challenges in my life, and then promises to always be near.

(and I really need to go to bed… because tomorrow is Monday morning!)

Every home should have a two-year old

January-June 2011 189Okay, maybe that’s stretching it a little too far, but I have decided (after three of them), that two is by far my favorite age.

I wouldn’t characterize any of our girls’ years as “terrible,” but I personally found three much more challenging than two.


Bear with me while I tell you why I love two-year olds so much.

For starters, they are fun, cute, silly, amazing, ridiculous, endearing, and playful. (to use a few adjectives that came to mind) And if that doesn’t make my opinion clear, here are a few other thoughts.

A year of exploration.

All of my girls could all walk by the time they were two, but other physical abilities seemed to snowball. Jumping and running, turning things on and off… I know that these can cause hazards and stress, but it’s also so heart-melting to see the excitement on their little faces and hear them proudly proclaim, “I run!!!”

A year of awareness.

Let’s just say, the conversations start picking up. As they begin to observe the world around them and ask questions, you have the awesome opportunity to fill their little head with knowledge, ideas, and enthusiasm. If you tell them lightbulbs are amazing, they’ll think they’re amazing, too; if you tell them bugs are gross, they’ll think they’re gross, too; if you tell them that storms are exciting and interesting, they’ll probably believe you; if you tell them that the road is dangerous, they’ll probably adhere. What better time than then to start shaping the way they view their body, other people, history, education, science, art, music… it goes on.

Wow! I didn’t actually intend for this to be inspirational, but as I’m writing, it’s like… yeah! Two-year olds are amazing! What an opportunity!

And for my very favorite thing about two-year olds, it would definitely have to be…

The way they talk.

Oh my goodness. They start to learn more words and put them together coherently, and then they get so excited that they begin talking faster and faster, and before you know it, it’s back to babble. After they catch up with themselves and you can understand again, it’s amazing. I love watching their faces darken or light up following the path of their topic; many times the girls have gotten to nap time way later than scheduled because they were carrying on while going potty and I just couldn’t help but listen and listen and listen. (and maybe egg them on a little bit, too = ) Then, there’s those conversations that take a serious turn and you’re feeling Wow, this is so cool; that was a great question they just asked. This is so meaningful; they’re going to remember this forever! and then… they say, “Does Daddy have a belly button?”

Okay, I thought of one more super fun aspect of two-year olds (or at least ours):

A year of stages.

Not developmental stages, but the they’re-doing-this-one-really-funny-thing-over-and-over stages. I think those have brought us more laughter than anything. The repetition of little jokes and games that they learn is so hilarious, maybe even more so than than the individual events or outbursts.


Well, this is all very opinionated indeed, but I just have to say that as I’ve watched Gracie during these past months (after I realized that my favorite age is two), I’ve tried super hard to cherish this time with her more than ever.

The thought has often crossed my mind, “Every house should have a two-year old.” They’re just so fun and entertaining and precious… but maybe that’s just me.

Do you have a favorite age/stage for babies and children? Has your two-year old experience been totally different from mine?   Thank you so much to all my readers and followers for your looking, liking, and commenting; I love it! Because you all are so kind, I wish you a house full of two-year olds. = )