This beautiful end of summer with my little girl

by

beautiful sunshine in field

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.