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This Beautiful End of Summer with My Little Girl

September 9, 2010
26 Comments

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?

Genny is a mom, author, blogger, book reviewer and coffee lover. Stop by her blog and share a cup!

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26 Comments

I enjoyed your post alot. I am a first time mom with a 16 month old daughter. And I am still baffled when I think about how small she was a year ago from now. I can't believe how much she's changed and how fast she learns. I'm so grateful to be her mother. I love how you said your journey as a mom is just beginning, because you're right. As she develops her talents and character, you will be the one she'll need when she has the adolescent emotions that come along with pre-teen years...

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Wow, what a wonderful job of expressing this feeling! My daughter is 17 and will be leaving for college a year from now, and I keep trying to explain to people why talking about that makes me start to cry. You are exactly right-I'm not sad, just emotional! I've enjoyed her childhood tremendously, but I love this amazing young woman and enjoy time with her even more now that she's grown...

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Very nice post! I too get emotional at the "ends of chapters" so to speak--the beginnings of new school years (I have two boys--one a sophomore in college, the other a soph in high school), first sleepover at Grandparents' house, first dances, first/last band camp, football game, first Scout camping trip without a parent, etc.......I even used to get emotional when we would weed out the clothes that no longer fit so we could give them to someone else! And weeding out toys---well, I just can't do it, but my husband seems to have NO qualms :-(

I really love the young men they are becoming, but sometimes I really miss my little boys!

Buy stock in Kleenex. I'm with you, sister!

PM me at phido@roadrunner.com if you want to talk some more.

Kathy Z.

I know just how you feel. As a great grandmother now with one great granddaughter a year old I remember how my own two boys grew up so fast. It seems impossible they are 46 and 48 now! I have grandchildren as old as 26 and as young as 1 year and I have been emotinal with all of them as they have grown up and I have lost a little of them in each season.

It is heart breaking to see them lose the innocents of a child isn't it? Losing all the sense of wonderment a child shows each moment...

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How very beautiful! Even as a stay at home Mom, I never cried when either of our two went off to kindergarten...THEN on the first day of middle school with our son (the older of our two), as I was approaching the school's drop off, I started crying as if it was the first time he'd been away! Now, with our daughter starting senior year and visiting colleges, it's not so much the absolute "moment of"...like you mentioned, it's the moments in between, quiet moments, everyday moments, that move me with such emotion I have to stop and gather myself! But at the same time, I shake my head with a smile, remembering once again that raising a child is the most awesome thing that you could ever do with your life!

My son is now in seventh grade but last year when he started middle school I was not prepared for the end of bringing cupcakes for the class on his birthday. Not feeling I could go have lunch with him occasionally. No more Valentines for the class. No one warned or prepared me for the end of these things, that they were no longer acceptable to do. As he grows into a man, I still see the little boy he was, layered over the man he is becoming.

You know, I read alot of articles on Mamapedia but this is the first time I have been completely compelled to post a comment because I am EXACTLY where you are right now! My daughter has also just started sixth grade (my son in 4th) and everything you wrote totally expresses how I feel!Sometimes just looking the both of them makes the tears come! Thank you for such a beautiful post!

Hi Genny,
Ditto to everything you expressed in your posting. Time is amazing and it stops for no one. My children are 6 and 8 and they are bundles of joy (yes...I still use that term). They are truly gems and many times I think of butterflies when I see them. They are about to start learning how to play instruments and I am excited for them.

May God continue to bless you, your family and the Mamapedia family with continued success.

All the Best

I loved your post and it all rang so true. My twin girls started middle school 4 weeks ago. I can't believe it has been almost 12 years since they came into this world and spent 5 weeks in the NICU. They are not my babies anymore. I know the next part of the journey will have some roller coaster moments, but I look forward to riding it with them and coming out on the other side.

Thank you so much for this post! I feel exactly the same way. My son just started 6th grade and my daughter is in 5th. It is amazing how fast they have grown and how beautiful they are, but of course very emotional for their mom!

Beautiful post! Choked me up...Just 5 years ago I was out on maternity leave with my two month old and now she's a brand new kindergartener. It IS amazing and emotional!

Thank you all so much for your heartfelt comments... some of them choked me up! And I agree Kristina - it is amazing and emotional. :)

(Patti, I'm so glad you decided to comment for the first time. Thanks for sharing that you're in the same place too!)

This feeling never goes away. My daughters are 30 and 28; one single, one living in another state with her husband and two daughters; our heart strings are tied tightly. When they hurt, I hurt, when they're happy, I am happy. Nobody ever told me it would feel like this with adult children...

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I'm writing this through the tears. I have a 4 year old and 21 month old girls. I'm also 35 weeks pregnant so that probably explains some of the emotions. I'm so gratefully I've been able to be a SAHM since the time feels like it has gone so quickly. My 4 year old and I started an Early Child Education Class last Thursday and this is the last year we'll be in the program. I've been taking them since she was a baby and she'll be starting Kindergarten next fall...

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Great post!
Talk about tears, last night in bed during story time my 4 yo daughter asked how old I was, and I said 40. She asked if 50 was next, and I said no, when I am 50, she'll be 14. She asked if she could walk alone when she is 14. I said yes. She sat quietly a minute and I watched the tears fill her eyes and she choked out, "Mom, I think I'll walk with you."
I pretty much soaked my pillow.

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