Not a Baby

Not a BabyI walked into Elizabeth's preschool to pick her up for a doctor's appointment. I looked across the sea of sleeping children on their little cots, searching for a wee girl with curly hair. Most of them were on their backs, their mouths open in a symphony of snores and snorts. I didn't see her. Slowing my search, I went back over each child until I realised, with a bit of a shock, that the little girl with the messy braid, neon yellow shirt, and skinny jeans on long legs nearly hanging off the cot was my baby.

When the heck did she get so big?

There was a milestone a year or so ago when I realised she was as old as Joseph had been when she was born. Since then, we've been plugging away in our daily life. Some small part of my brain realises she's starting kindergarten next fall, but that same part of my brain is trying to convince me I have months and months left before Christmas. Time is going too fast. She's in the last size before going to big girl clothes and that fact alone nearly sends me for a tranquilizer and a child shrinker. What happened to my baby?

I love the ages my kids are now. Parents of older children assure me it only gets better. She's old enough for the three of us to have amazing adventures and even better conversations. She's big enough to sign up for a fun run and probably beat her brother and I to the end. And still, when I went to a baby shower this weekend and held the tiny clothes and the palm sized booties, I couldn't help but feel a twinge of sadness that my baby is not a baby anymore.

How do you cope with your child getting older?