My little Holland,
You are going to kindergarten tomorrow. When we had to decide if we wanted to add to our family of four, the answer for me was always yes. I knew that you were out there, and I just had to bring you into our lives. I will never say you made it easier, but I will always say you made it better. You were the crescendo to the twilight of my years parenting young children. Your childhood has been a gift to me as a mother. You let me experience it all over again- birth, nursing, exhaustion, frustration, joy, laughter and wonder. You are so funny (your faces, your expressions, the way you dance). You are so sweet. (Your tender heart, the way you crave touch and caresses, the way you pull my hair and tell me you love me, like you did just today). I haven’t wished away your childhood. I get it now. I see how fast it goes. The thumb sucking, asking for help to do things you could do by yourself, the incorrect grammar… all of it is so fleeting and so dear to me. I know that soon I won’t be “Mommy.” Soon, you’ll want to read yourself a bedtime story. All too soon, you will not need me to help you much at all. You will keep growing up. And so on the eve of the day that will introduce you to a whole new life experience, I went for a run and listened to all your favorite songs. I made myself be aware of who you are and what you have brought to my life. I made myself think about how my life will be different with no littles at home during the day- coffee and lunches for one. Quiet. No one interrupting me to ask for help or asking me if I want to play babies. I will have the life that, in some ways, I have been craving for years and years. But how lucky am I that I got to have those days with you. You brought a few more years of blessed chaos to my life. Your presence, inconvenient and even annoying at times, forced me to put someone else first. To be patient and to choose another's needs over my own. I will miss you. But I know I can’t keep you. I get it now. Parenting is so beautiful and messy and drawn-out and fleeting and dear. I see in you, a little girl who is sweet and kind, and strong willed and smart and ready for something new. You will be great. I will be fine. I might even be great! I will always be your mommy and you will always be my baby. And I will eternally be thankful for the crescendo that you have brought to this stage of my life.