Today my youngest turns six years old. She has been counting down for weeks now, planning her meals and cake. She is so excited.
Today, for the first time in fifteen years, I do not have a preschooler in my house – no infants, no toddlers, no preschoolers. I am excited for my daughter, but today I am a little saddened.
A part of my parenting life is now over. It will never return. This weekend I spent some time with new moms. Their concerns are no longer mine, and while I voiced a word or two of experienced insight (or so I hoped) I couldn’t really relate. My parenting difficulties are different now. When I look back I think how much easier parenting little ones seemed than the choices and decisions and mistakes I must now make with my teens.
And yet I remember in the thick of diapers and sleepless nights and tantrums wishing it would just end so I could get on with life. And now I mourn its loss.
My littlest one feels like she is beginning a new chapter of life (where she got this idea, I’m not really sure.) I know that I am. Funny how she looks on hers with joy and anticipation and mine is tinged with sadness and a little regret.