It’s 2019 and whether on television, social media, or at my daughter’s school, I feel like I am constantly being reminded that kids don’t stay little for long. And while the constant reminders seem to follow me everywhere, it is right before birthdays when I sense it the most.
My oldest daughter is celebrating her 8th birthday this year. While I know this is nothing compared to moving into the teen years or beyond, we are definitely transitioning away from cartoon movies, Disney soundtracks, and anything mom picks out for you to wear into a whole new world of “real people” movies, pop music, and getting way too excited about makeup for someone who isn’t allowed to wear it yet. And while I am excited that my daughter is finding her own style and figuring out what she likes, another part of me is sad to see us leave a little more of the young kid behind. She can’t stay little forever.
When I am struggling to accept that my daughter is growing up, I try to remember the sweet, simple moments that show she can stay little for awhile yet and that really she isn’t moving too fast.
One of my favorite memories that always quickly reminds me that we still have time for her to stay little happened on her last birthday. For her seventh birthday, her dad and I surprised her at school during first grade lunch and ate with her in her school cafeteria. When she saw us, she acted like we were there to take her on vacation. She was so happy to have us visit her and excitedly introduced us to each of her friends. We spent the lunchtime listening to all of the stories that she and her friends wanted to share with us. During that whole time, I do not think that she ever stopped smiling or moved her arm from being linked with mine. We left school that day after lots of hugs, kisses, and “Thank you, I love yous” from our first girl. Not only was her birthday made extra special in her eyes, but I walked away from that day knowing that our little girl wasn’t growing up too fast at all. But that isn’t where it ends either….
It made such an impression on her that she hasn’t stopped asking if we will be back on her eighth birthday. There is no hesitation from our daughter on whether she should still want us there or whether having your parents come to school is still the “cool” thing to do now that she is in second grade. All she cares about is that on her special day she felt truly special and she wants to recreate it this year.
Now I am the one that can’t stop smiling.
When you are a new mom, everyone tells you that it goes by quickly. But even though that is absolutely true, it’s nice to get these reminders over the years that some stages last a little longer. I know will savor this pure, simple birthday tradition until she tells me she’s had enough…until then I will find my seat at the cafeteria table and let her stay little for another year.