Weekends like this make me completely understand that frantic-nostalgic tone in the voices of parents with grown children when they say, "Enjoy it! It goes so fast!"
These days when it is sunny and cool and Natalie asks for "One more snuggle, Mama!" & work is the last thing on my mind & the house is un-dirty enough for me to just not worry about it, I get it. These really are the days that fly by in a blink and will be the memories I hold fast to when my child no longer reaches for my hand and needs me to nuzzle into her cheek at bedtime. These frustrating moments (like when she freaked her freak at a middle school basketball game yesterday when the buzzer sounded and then refused to re-enter the gym for an hour and a half) will be the memories we groan over in laughter and wonder why we took it all so seriously.
These near-dusk moments on a fall playground (where I watched my brave child conquer a ladder with my heart rising in my throat) will undoubtedly bring tears to my eyes when she is keeping secrets from me and discovering what it really means to be independent.
The sight of her running free and being such a kid makes my heart simultaneously swell and break. There has been nothing as gratifying in parenthood as watching my child grow and become brave and experience simple joys, but I hear the chorus of voices at the back of my mind reminding me that it will go so fast and all I want is to press pause.
This weekend, with its tears & laughter & running & cooking & finger-painting & dancing & bumps & bruises & snuggling, will be tucked away in my emotional memory bank so that someday I can remind parents with babies-becoming-children that it goes so fast, enjoy every second.
Natalie is 2 years & 7.5 months. She loves Taylor Swift and the Berenstain Bears books. She dances with every inch of her body and has an imaginary friend. She insists on painted toenails and carrying a purse, blanket, and doll everywhere she goes. Her hair is easily 100 different shades of brown and her legs are constantly covered in bruises and scrapes. She calls everything she loves "special" and flails her limbs constantly in her sleep. Her favorite color is pink and her favorite food is cheese. She insists on wearing boy underpants (the characters are so much cooler) and loves to snuggle at night by wrapping both arms tightly around my neck.
This child never sleeps past 5:30 on a weekend morning. Never.
I have to, literally, drag this same child out of bed at 6:40 every weekday morning so that I can force her into clothes and the car to make it to daycare (and, you know, work) on time.
But today! Today is a 2 hour delay day! And because Natalie is asleep & unaware of weather patterns & school closing policies, she is still blissfully conked out on a Thursday morning at 6:50am while I enjoy a second cup of coffee. It's going to baffle her to wake up on her own, and I am so happy she really gets a chance to enjoy a full night's sleep without me waking forcefully waking her up. Also? I don't mind the 2 hour delay to my workday and the quiet time in my warm house while the wind howls outside.
Because no post is complete without some sort of complaint--I am a bit bummed that all of the work I put into preparing for my scheduled formal observation may go to waste. First period today was my scheduled time to be observed.... and now I will likely have to reschedule. Booooo.
We decided to be a family of random superheroes this year for Halloween, which was a moderate success in costuming. Aside from Natalie refusing to wear her mask & cape, and my costume turning out to be totally see-through from the back, we looked pretty darn cute.
Nat woke up on Halloween morning completely cranky and in no mood to wear her costume to daycare. It took all of my toddler-wrangling skills & best bribery to get her to at least wear the full Hit-Girl ensemble for a couple of photos before ripping it all off. Peanut butter cups, I owe you.
We managed to snap a couple of pictures of the fam in the backyard before heading out for early evening trick-or-treating. Rain threatened to pour down on us most of the time we were out, and we narrowly missed some torrential stuff. But we managed to stay dry, and Natalie was a whole different kid this year as we went around the neighborhood collecting candy.
Seriously, she literally skipped her way from house to house and kept saying "Just one more, Mommy!"
She was an old pro at the knock, say "trick-or-treat," smile big, say "thank-you" routine by the end of our rounds. I was awfully proud of her as she waved goodbye to every house and shouted in glee at every treat she got in her bag.
Natalie's highly inappropriate Hit-Girl costume was a combination of TJ Maxx leggings & skirt, Wal-Mart tee & boots, online purchased cape & mask & purple hair spray (which seemed to evaporate after about 45 seconds).