Nostalgia / by Kate Brightbill


The other day we went to the park. We always go to the park. Sophie & Maggie run around and play together and have the best time together, but this time was a little different. There was a girl exactly Sophie's size and they began to play together. They wanted to get on the seesaw together, do the monkey bars, and slide side-by-side.

It's a good thing that my four-year-old makes friends easily. It's a great thing actually. She's developing the way a normal little girl should... making new friends at the drop of the hat and playing her little heart out.

It also somehow struck me in a new way... I got sad. I kind of wanted to cry as I watched her being a big kid! So weird right? Sophie playing with friends is not a new thing. This particular day she just seemed so big!! She didn't want any help getting up on the monkey bars or climbing the high ladders. She wanted to be independent and play with her friend, not so much Maggie and me.

You know how when you have a newborn, you think it's the hardest thing ever? And then your newborn becomes a 2-year-old and you say to yourself "how did I think newborns who sleep and coo all day was difficult?" And you realize that most of the challenge in that stage of life is actually emotional turmoil... the newness and gravity of the reality that you have a little life to cherish and devote your cares for-ev-er...              

Four years old is a bit like that. We've made it through the really tricky, testy, crazy active years and now we're at this sweet spot where we have long, very interesting chats about what goes through an imagination, and she helps me do basically everything throughout the day... but I'm back to the emotional challenges. I'm emotional about the speed of growing up. I'm sentimental about the sweet things that she says and the grown-up way she dresses herself and packs her own bags and helps herself to oranges in the fridge. 

If she gets really tired during ballet and decides she just wants a hug from her mama, I'm okay with that. If she drops her ice cream and needs a hug, I'll be there. I'll be grabbing these moments and cherishing every one before she gets too big to need them all. I love being these girls' mama.

How nice it is to remember that what once terrified me now thrills me: that I truly will be their mama for-ev-er. :)

And we have oh-so-many laughs and cuddles to be had between now and then.