children, family, gratitude, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting


ry=400 Change is all in how you look at it.  I tend to be more sentimental than most in this regard.  Today is the last Friday of the school year.  After today, T.Puzzle will never be a kindergartener on a Friday ever again.  It kind of stabs at my heart when I think about it.

On the flip side, T.Puzzle is thrilled beyond compare.  He is so happy that kindergarten is nearing the end.  I suppose the fact that summer vacation is upon us helps his great mood.

I have a choice.  I can continue to be sad that my ‘baby’ is growing up or I can choose to celebrate this fact.  I believe every moment of a child’s development is a mixture of triumph and letting go of how things used to be.  Yes, there is an ache that he’s getting older.  There is also excitement and that unknowing, fluttery, pit-of-my-stomach anticipation that the future holds great adventures for both my boys.

It isn’t that change is bad.  Change is awesome.  Even if you have to go through a box of Kleenex or two to realize this.

children, family, happiness, humor, kindergarten, motherhood, parenting

Nice to Meet You

One sure-fire way to feel like a rock star is to volunteer in a kindergarten classroom. When I help out in T.Puzzle’s class once a week, I can’t help but feel amazing. After not seeing the kids in over three weeks due to winter break, they were especially delighted to see me again. This is how one girl greeted me:

“I missed you! I love your shirt! I love your hair! I love your shoes! You smell so pretty!”

That was only in the first five minutes. By the time my two-hour block of time was winding down, I had several lunch invitations and many exclamations of how much I was missed and adored.

It got me to thinking. They think I’m awesome and the feeling is mutual. Why is that? I realized it’s only because we see each other for short windows of time. All we see and look for is the good stuff. If we had to spend loads of time together, the bloom of good cheer most certainly would fade.

Take my relationship with T.Puzzle for instance. It has evolved from a Mommy’s Boy situation to a Stay-Away-From-Mom as much as possible kind of relationship. This tends to put me in a defensive frame of mind when I am evaluating his six-year oldness. Needless to say, my patience with him is sometimes used up even before he has a chance to speak.

What if, just for a moment, I imagined if someone who doesn’t see him very often, like you, were spending time with him? What would you see? Would this help me remember his own unique brand of awesomeness?

If you were meeting T.Puzzle for the first time, you would see a fun-loving, inquisitive, opinionated, confident little man with an extremely high adorability quotient.

Captain America has nothing on this guy!
Captain America has nothing on this guy!

And guess what?

You’d be right.

children, family, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

Shot Through the Heart

T.Puzzle on the first day of kindergarten

Oh, hello denial!  I didn’t see you standing there.  I was too busy pretending that sending T.Puzzle to kindergarten was a breeze.

Basically, this kindergarten thing has been fine and dandy with me as long as I could  accurately predict T.Puzzle’s behavior.  It’s when he starts going rogue on me and all of a sudden exhibits very Full Speed-like tendencies that all bets are off.

I was perfectly happy dropping him off as long as Full Speed escorted him to his class.  Things became dicey this week when he announced that he would no longer need Full Speed’s assistance and he would be walking in ‘all by myself!’ from here on out.

Now, I expected and accepted this kind of independent streak from Full Speed.  While I knew T.Puzzle had it in him, I thought that it would take a little longer to express on school grounds, like in ten years or so (ah, yes, there’s that lovely denial again).

As I watched T.Puzzle march to the entrance alone it felt like a bullet straight through my heart.

I will never be the same again and quite thankfully, neither will he.  I’m proud of his confidence and this softens the edges of the hurt I feel as I realize that everything has changed.

Mothers and kids must learn to separate, ‘bullet’ wounds eventually heal and the love a mother has for their child is always with them, even when they march their way towards independence.

Had I known he would grow so fast, I would have held him even tighter.
children, family, motherhood, parenting

How Do You Spell ‘Impossible’?

I L-O-V-E this kid!
I have officially signed up T.Puzzle for kindergarten.  I am handling this sign-up a lot better than I did Full Speed’s.  I think it’s because I know what to expect and knowing Full Speed loved his kindergarten experience, I’m very hopeful T.Puzzle will love his, too.  Or, maybe I’m more than ready to hand him over to his kindergarten teacher.  It seems as of late, T.Puzzle is convinced I really don’t know how to read and questions me emphatically if I correct him.  I have to spell the word out loud while he hides the text.  He peers at the word furtively beneath his cupped hands to make sure I can’t cheat.  Then, I have to prove phonetically why I think it is the word it is instead of the one he thinks it is.  Oh, I’m ready for this guy to go to kindergarten, alright.  I just hope his future teacher is excellent at spelling.

children, humor, kindergarten, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting

Good Manners vs. Bad Behavior

I was volunteering in Full Speed’s class, which when given a chance to interact with the kids, I thoroughly enjoy.  It’s a lot more entertaining than if I get sent off to make copies or cut paper.  I love to watch Full Speed in the classroom setting.  He’s impatient, antsy, full of answers even to questions that aren’t being asked and rather comical.  A lot of the kids like to share with me that Full Speed is ‘silly’ or ‘funny’.  I interpret this to mean ‘ the teacher has her hands full keeping him in line’.  So when his teacher pulls me aside to discuss a morning incident concerning Full Speed, I am not surprised.

Apparently there was a scuffle of sorts with a fellow classmate in which Full Speed hit the other child with his lunch box.  When the teacher asked him point-blank why he did it he said, ‘I don’t know, ma’am’.  When pressed further about his intentions he kept politely replying, ‘I don’t know, ma’am’.

The bad news is that Full Speed can be a little hotheaded; the good news is his manners will be impeccable when questioned in a court of law.

I’m so relieved.