This beautiful end of summer with my little girl…

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As I write this, my daughter is playing Monopoly with a friend, and my son is in his room driving a remote control car around.

I just finished doing some writing for C2BU and was wrapping up a few things on my computer when I looked at my calendar and saw that I have a school check-in day with my daughter at her middle school this week.

Middle school.

I know I’ve mentioned the fact that I can hardly believe she’s in sixth grade, but it seems like as the date gets closer, I can’t even think about it without getting choked up.

I’m not emotional about it because I’m sad.

I’m not sad.

I’m just… emotional.

It’s the same way I felt when I walked her into preschool, her tiny hand holding tightly onto mine, her thumb in her mouth because she was a little unsure.

I felt like this her first day of kindergarten too, as I hurried away after dropping her off, hiding my tears under my sunglasses, hoping nobody would notice that I was crying.

It’s not that I want her to stay young, and it’s not that I don’t want her to be away from home.

That’s not it.

It’s just that I’m amazed

and overwhelmed

and sentimental

about the fact that she used to be a tiny baby in my arms,

mostly sleeping or crying,

and now she’s on the brink of becoming a teenager,

then a woman.

In seven years, I’ll have raised a woman.

See? Here come the tears again.

“Mommy, we’re going outside,” she just called.

They must be done with Monopoly.

“Okay,” I say, masking the emotion in my voice.

I remember when she was younger and I used to have to go outside with her.

I remember when I’d bring a blanket out on the grass and let her crawl around and play.

I remember the time when she was two and ate a flower and I called poison control in a panic.

And the time she was four and finger-painted hand prints all over our white Labrador when I had gone inside to get the phone.

The memories…

they make me laugh and cry.

There are so many of them.

And I know there are more to come.

I know that.

It’s not like her going into middle school means my journey as a mom is over.

Really, in so many ways, it’s just beginning.

Maybe that’s what my emotion is about…

the changing season,

the new phase.

Endings and beginnings.

It’s just that I love her so much.

And with the school year starting in a week, and the fact that I know by now how fast the days, months, and years fly by,

I’m acutely aware of this time,

this moment,

this beautiful end of summer 

with my little girl.

Are you entering a new season too? How old are your kids and what’s changing for them… and for you?

Update: This post was featured over at Mamapedia.Click over there and read the discussion and comments from other moms!

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