I Am The Butterfly.

One of the best poems I’ve ever read was written by some weird guy in my high school (I inevitably had a helpless crush on him) and was submitted to our school’s Literary Magazine. I was a hopeless member of the staff because then, and even now, I cannot seem to find the negatives in art and writing. I can’t. I can look at my own photographs and see a million things technically “wrong” but I can’t seem to read your writing and tell you what’s wrong with it. I just can’t seem to do it. Don’t ask me!

Unless you’re hiring editors, in which case, ask me.

This particular poem was about the process of becoming a butterfly, but as a human. It’s about realizing, “Hey, I’ve changed. It kind of hurts and it’s kind of amazing. I am the butterfly too. It’s not just her. It’s not just him. It’s me too. How cool.”

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Lately I get tears in my eyes whenever I speak about Scarlet. It’s my way. I prefer it to nervous nausea and I prefer it to anger. It’s when I speak about the good and it’s when I speak about the bad – like other kids in class being mean in ways that wouldn’t ever occur to my daughter. She really is made of light and love, and a hearty dose of normal, school-age brattiness. That’s ok too. Sometimes I have to leave the school playground, even when things are peachy and she’s got her legs swinging to the sky, while being pushed by a loving teacher. I have to leave because that’s ending. And when I do see her playing alone or being a victim of mean words, or doling out the mean words, which happens, I have to leave then because that’s something beginning.

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I’ve made it no secret that her transition to kindergarten experience is affecting me so much more because of where I was at her age – my father having been gone a year, and on the brink of having a new home, new siblings, new school, and a new dad whose voice is so deep I thought he was James Earl Jones. And I’ve made it only a secret to her how much I sometimes struggle, because my story is not her story, my pain is not her pain, and I will not take away a shred of this experience from her. I won’t.

I haven’t.

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Last week we had kindergarten orientation. I was nervous. I didn’t even eat breakfast which usually only happens if I’m afraid that something is so scary or heady that there’s even a chance I might lose my breakfast. Which is not what happens and not what I thought, but I was nervous! In that way that I didn’t feel completely safe, but I did feel like I was in a safe space. On the three minute drive there, Scarlet confessed that she was feeling a little scared. I told her that I get scared for a lot of things too, like photo jobs, writing jobs and blog conferences. I told her I was going to a Blogging School (BlogU) soon and that I was very scared. And I told her I got scared as a mother too. She said, “Of all of your jobs, being Mama is my favorite.” Me too, kid.

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Then we got there. We were on the later side and they were already lining up. She held me near. I was holding Des too. They called her name and she looked up at me with tears and said she was too scared. Her friend was called next and I walked her over to hold hands with him to go to the classroom together. He was all, “Girls are yucky” about holding hands but it calmed her down. Like a true pro, the kindergarten teacher swept her into the classroom. The rest of us went to the library to meet the principal and other staff members. Des sat silently on my lap and even said, “I love you, Mama” in the middle of the meeting.

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There were tears, but they weren’t mine. We went on a full tour of the school and then came back and the principal read us a book called, “Scaredy Squirrel.” Then our pre-kindergarteners came back. Scarlet seemed happy. The kindergarten teacher told me she had done great and even made friends. Then we all had snacks in the library and got in the car. I suggested we FaceTime Cassidy and Scarlet was very excited. I got to hear her tell him that the experience was awesome. There was a popcorn kernel craft with her name on it that she wanted to hang on her bed at home. I then asked her where she wanted to go to celebrate.

You know what she said, right?

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If you guessed cookie store, then you are correct!

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And it was good. Really good.

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If you’re thinking you’re seeing snow in the background of some of these photos, don’t worry – it doesn’t snow in June in MA. (I think?) These photos are from March and I’m playing catchup. The dancing/fairy/butterfly theme is too good to resist.

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And I’m delighted by these photos, and by the kid in them.

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She’s got rhythm too.

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And glee, joy and delight.

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Her brother has it too, even though he was sick back when these photos were taken.

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The sun..can be bewildering..when it’s late March and you’re only one. You just don’t remember last summer, do you?

The dog seems to find unspeakable joy in her days too. Good fit, this one.

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I don’t often feel like a butterfly, or at least not a permanent one. I think I go in and out of cocoons throughout life, and really that’s ok. I’m ok being a temporary butterfly if it means I’ll soar in vivid color every now and then. Just to feel it.

Just to be it.

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  1. Ah…. I must have done that ‘sigh’ about thirty times while reading your precious heart and seeing it in these pictures. Oh that Scarlet! Those images are just too perfect… you are right- this captures it all. And sweet Des embracing the sun. And all the words in between that filter through my heart and always leave it lighter, softer, and often touched in ways words can’t express.

    A new chapter, love. A new season. So sadness and stirring will soon transform to new excitement and hope and all the unknown to come. Oh it’s just beautiful- these changes. I know you are still in that ‘hard place’ of wrapping it all around your mind and somehow trying to place it neatly in your life- but the real messy emotions that ebb and flow fluctuating back and forth… will somehow land safely.

    Until the next turn of the wind.

    1. I love that you were the first comment! I actually read it late last night but I was too tired to really process it the way I have today.
      The images and the words and the timing were so right to me. Even though I took the photos months ago. I’m always three months behind so it made sense to me!

  2. That last picture of Scarlet, right before the one with Des and Cassidy? Perfection. Captured perfectly. As are your feelings and words, my friend. It’s scary for sure, but it’ll be good – and don’t sit there with it alone, share it with us. xoxox

    1. Oh, I’d say you can count on that! I will be sharing, for my own need to spill, and for the wonderful comments that make me feel a heck of a lot better about…everything!

  3. Such lovely pictures. Two of my daughters had big milestones this year. Graduating elementary school for one and graduating kindergarten for the other. Both were equally hard. I love my beautiful and smart middle schooler, but I am deathly scared of that age! Graduating kindergarten is the gateway it just seemed like it was yesterday it happened for the oldest and here we are at today. Butterflies reaching and growing always.

    1. I’m scared very much about middle school because it was very hard for me. I was teased and I did teasing. High school was MUCH better for me.
      First grade seems like a biggie too. All good milestones.

  4. Transitions are sometimes harder for us, who have more experience in heartache, pain and disappointment. But the children! Children turn these things around for us, and remind us that there is sunshine, and fairies and butterflies. xo

    1. It’s that resilience. It’s amazing. I remember it. Of course I still have some. It’s not like I used up my whole stockpile already. But still.. kids. Amazing.

  5. It can be hard watching them grow up. Especially that we can’t protect them all the time, we can’t shelter them from everything they fear. They world is big. There will be scary experiences but there will be wonderful ones too. They will experience both. And we can only help them grow strong and help them embrace life for as long as we can.

    1. Such wise words! I don’t know why it’s so hard at certain times, and not as much as others. Ultimately the joy is worth every second of all of the other feelings.

  6. Scarlett will be okay, Tamara. She is a strong willed magical butterfly! As usual your pictures are phenomenal and your words so very real. It is your truth and you tell it so well.

  7. Oh the changes are so hard aren’t they?? I have never dealt with change well at all, and I’m trying as a parent to embrace it and teach my kids (while convincing myself) that life is all about change and becoming something better… I think I need to remember to be a butterfly!

    1. I’ve always been bad with changes and I think I’m even worse at changes with the kids. At least as a kid I’d get weepy about the end of a school year, but I’d look forward to summer. And now, I look forward to summer but I want to weep at all that I’m losing by never going back to preschool. I’m not yet thinking about what I’m gaining, which is a lot.

  8. Oh the big milestones and changes. It seems kids are growing up faster these days and parents just want to stop the time just for a little while. Lesley is starting school this year and there is a choke in my throat every time I think about it. Same thing happened with Mateo. I have to remember that change is good sometimes and leads to bigger and better things, as scary as it may be.

    1. You’re so right. We can’t just stay in preschool forever. Bigger and better things are coming, scary as they may be, as you say. I’m calm lately because I have BlogU this weekend and that’s my focus right now. When I get back and it’s time for preschool graduation/Des’ birthday on the same day… well… we’ll get to that.

  9. You know I can relate so much to this post, especially with Kindergarten orientation. Emma also is a very sweet and loving child, who I don’t think has mean bone in her body either, so I too get nervous for her when I see other kids her age being a bit mean and even cruel, too. I don’t want to say she is naive, because that sounds so negative, but Emma definitely is not a kid who would even think to treat another child poorly or say or do something to hurt another child on purpose. And yet, my sweet child rocked Kindergarten orientation, she didn’t even flinch going into the classroom by herself to meet the teachers while we had our own parent orientation and while other kids were crying and throwing fits to leave their parents. And we totally celebrated with ice cream afterwards. And but he way, Emma just made a butterfly at pre-school yesterday and that is all we talked about last night (how butterflies come into existence). So just more that you and I are in sync with!! πŸ™‚

    1. We’re always in sync! We’re going to get through this summer/fall together. I just know it. And we will be meeting and having a drink together so soon. Are we bringing kids?? I guess that’s a question for another day.
      Scarlet can definitely dish it out too but there’s certain cruel things she wouldn’t think to do. So I’m happy about that!

      1. I am not sure and was wondering what more had been decided for the day itself and just been waiting patiently for more details as we got closer. And we are always in sync – love you so much for this and more, as always. Emma can definitely dish it out with Lily, but I think she is more patient with other kids that she only plays with or sees a few hours a day versus Lily who she is with constantly.

  10. Biz’s kindergarten screening was rough for both me and Biz. But we made it through. His preschool graduation is tonight. My baby is graduating to kindergarten! Eek. I know it’ll be great. We all have to be butterflies sometimes. Even moms.

    1. I’m trying to imagine it with Des..and I just.. can’t. I said to Cassidy in all seriousness yesterday – “I can take it all. I can do labor and delivery. I can do another newborn and three whiny kids. I can’t do another pregnancy, though. Boo!”
      I want to do it all again, though. Des is turning two next week. SOB!

  11. Hooray for graduation! πŸ™‚ It’s sad indeed – but it has to happen and we have to be excited! I think boys are different, mine was indifferent to it – he just wanted the snacks and to go to Chuck E Cheese afterwards. He always wants to go to CEC, I usually take him twice a month! As sad as it is to see them growing up so quickly, I look forward to being able to converse with my son more like an adult – to get his perspective of the world but I’ll always remember how delicious he was as a baby – he was a chunky monkey and boy was he yummy! πŸ™‚ HAPPY HUMP DAY! Yes, tis hump day already! πŸ™‚ -Iva

    1. Oh yes, it’s HUMP DAY all right, but it’s HUMP DAY before MEETING DAY. Yay!
      We don’t have a CEC around here that I know about. I’m sure my kids would love it. How could they not? I used to be afraid of the giant baker mascot but I’ve been told he’s not around anymore.
      I do look forward to Des talking to me about his thoughts and feelings.

      1. I know I’m SOOOOO excited πŸ˜€ I’m doing a lot of pre-cleaning now so I don’t come back to a house wreck this weekend since I already know what the bf will be doing: PC gaming and homework. He has to clean the tubs so he’s aware πŸ˜‰ Of course they would love CEC! Where a kid can be a kid πŸ˜‰ My son doesn’t like the big mouse mascot – he’s not a fan, it freaks him out so we avoid pleasantly. I’m already enjoying talking to my son more – it’s such a pleasure. I’m in the dungeon in our office building ( not really our server room really ) babysitting folks who are updating something and it’s nice because there’s no banter, it’s just the heating/cooling system. πŸ™‚ Peace to blog!

  12. I think I’ve mentioned it to you one other time, but I was in the exact same shoes as you last year. Exact. Same daughter, same social issues, same anxiety (both she and I), same bittersweetness about endings and beginnings. I’m so happy you made it through orientation in one piece–I found that was a big milestone for me and my daughter too. The first day is the next big one, and you will get through it. You will. I will say that going through this year of Kindergarten with my daughter (she’s my only so it’s a first and last of sorts too) was really a wonderful growing experience for her and me individually and together. The confidence I see in her now, and in myself, I’m really proud of. She and I have come a long way and I feel like she is acquiring quite the tool box for dealing with the ugly sides of school/social life that are yet to come. I wish the same for you two also.

    1. Oh, wow! I do remember you talking about it before. It’s a biggie, I think. Maybe not for everyone but certainly for me. And you! I think the orientation being over gave me some calm in my life. It’s summertime, after all. It’s not time to panic. September..well.. I can’t say I’ll take it lightly but I’ll take it as it comes.
      I can’t wait to watch my daughter flourish.

    1. She just looks so loose and happy. She really wasn’t even performing for me! She’d look at me every now and then but the dancing came before and after the camera came out. It’s Scarlet in her natural habitat!

  13. So here’s the funny thing… I was SO tired last night, and saw your post go into my inbox and thought “I have to read this- I miss her…” And I did. And I loved this so much. And I am just now going back to my laptop and guess what? My computer was on THIS post- still open. HA! It’s as thought I still wanted to linger here…

    All night long. πŸ™‚

    1. And that’s a GREAT Lionel Richie song.
      I’m so glad I was on your computer all night!
      I’m so glad you miss me because I miss you!

  14. I love her happiness in these pictures, so carefree! Perfect childhood pics! I was waiting for this post since I saw the IG post. I’m glad orientation went well. Scarlet is going to rock Kindergarten, I just know it.

    1. I think you’re right. I really do. And I’m really trying to stay in the present and not think about September as much. Fun summer, first, I tell myself!

  15. Your pictures are always so beautiful. I can’t imagine what you’re feeling, but I’m sure I’ll be coming to you in three years asking how you handled it, feeling what you’re feeling now. It terrifies me to think about kindergarten. But, I hope that I can just watch my child grow and learn and see the beauty in him furthering his education, just as Scarlet is about to. Your kids are so beautiful and so full of life. I love your little family! Sorry I’ve been so absent lately, I’ve been going through some things myself. <3

    1. I’ll be there again in three years too, with Des, so I hope you do come to me! I’ve been wondering where you were! Hope everything is smoothing out in your life and you find your way back to blogging, but only if you want to of course!!

  16. I still get sad when I drop off Eve at childcare and it’s only for 4 1/2 hours. I cannot imagine what I will be like when she starts school. It seems like one of the hardest parts about being a parent is learning to allow our children to grow into butterflies and take flight. Sometimes, admittedly, I am saddened about the thought of Eve growing up, but I also really look forward to seeing her grow into a little person.
    It sounds like Scarlet handled orientation like a champ is totally going to rock kindergarten!

    1. I’ve been looking into something low key for the fall for Des. 4.5 hours. He’ll be two and it seems like a good plan to get him something of his own. He’s so clingy right now that it’s nearly impossible to imagine it working, but I bet it will. Kids do pretty well when they’re given chances to fly.

  17. I’m so glad that you made it through!! New beginnings are sometimes just as hard as endings, but both happen, and somehow I always get through them. In fact, so far, I have gotten through everything. Isn’t that a miracle to think about. I think Scarlet will be just fine in kindergarten…and I think you will be okay too. In fact, I kind of know it.

    1. Wow, I really need to think on that. I have gotten through everything. I really have. Sometimes, shakily. And I have certainly failed a few times.
      It’s all good, though.

  18. It’s amazing how much your children have grown since I found your blog! I remember the days of letting them grow into butterflies and off to kindergarten. Sorry haven’t been around. I had to walk away from commenting while I fixed my blog and do an important assignment. Good to see you are still blogging strong!

  19. I’m glad Scarlet enjoyed orientation. I totally understand your nervousness about kindergarten. I homeschool my son and the thought of sending him to school scares me. He has sensory issues like gagging when he sees other people eat. So lunch time would be difficult for him.

    1. Oh, wow! That’s an interesting sensory issue. I’ve definitely heard of similar ones. I can see why you homeschool. Every day I have to turn off the news. I’m scared of school and this world sometimes.

  20. That is beautiful, Tamara. And it brought tears to my eyes reading this. Your photos or Scarlet are adorable and I agree they are perfect for this post. My son is going to start Kindergarten in the fall, but we don’t know what school the kids will be attending yet. Lately I’ve been having similar nervous feelings due to our upcoming move this August. Everything is changing so quickly. I can relate to the whole butterfly theme in this post. Have a terrific day!

    1. That’s tough – not knowing where you’ll be! What school in what city in what state. It will be something right, though. Changes.. quick changes… they take my breath away.
      Have a great day!

  21. I remember feeling the same way a couple years ago. Terrified and thrilled. Loosing my baby, it was an adjustment. However, I find these life adjustments come at the right times, when they are needed for child and parent. My baby will be entering second grade in the fall, I have mixed emotions. I don’t do well without him but as he grows he becomes this amazing person with hopes, fears and dreams. As a parent that is the most beautiful part, seeing them become themselves before your very eyes even though they have no idea it’s happening. Ahhh, parenthood!

    1. Yes, parenthood!! It’s so exhausting life-affirming, amazing, hard.
      Second grade.. that was a good year for me. I have trouble separating my own experiences from thinking about hers, but I know it will all be different.

  22. I can stare at your photos all day long!!! πŸ™‚ I’ve been thinking of pre-school too for Reiko.. or play school while we’re waiting for next school year. I can’t imagine getting my eyes off him even just for a while. And I can see why you were scared. I won’t really know that exact feeling though unless I get there.. so we’ll see. Hope I’m not gonna freak out! At least you got cookies! Happy food!

    1. Aww! I wish you could get paid to stare at photos all day long. Do you think that would be a good job? We’re thinking of something like play school for Des. Just something to get his feet wet before he starts preschool at the same place Scarlet is graduating from. There’s a gap year between them, though!

  23. The thought of Scarlet being picked on or ANYONE being rude/mean/nasty towards her makes me very upset. I can tell the transition is going to be really hard for me. When you said you’re going to have to leave because that’s just what it is now, you cant just turn around and play with her and all that…ugh, that is going to pierce me to the core. I will be the butterfly someday..and I guess I have been, but I will be again, and again..and again. Loved this post. And I’m so excited for your conference this weekend!!!!!!!!! Wish I were there! Send me a postcard? Thanks. :]

    1. Today her teacher told me that she’s VERY strong – if that helps make it easy for you.
      We’re all butterflies a lot, aren’t we?

        1. haha..no! Internal strength. Strength of character. She can take it. She’s resilient. And also, she’s strong enough not to give into group mentality too.

  24. I’m so glad that Scarlet’s (and your) first experience with kindergarten was a good one. I think transitions can be harder on us as parents than they are for our children. The growth and the change are good, but they still hurt my heart a little.

    1. It really helped me with a lot of anxiety. And now..I focus on BlogU and BlogU only! Next week is the time to think about preschool graduation, Des’ birthday and house guests. Sob!

    1. I was just waiting for someone to notice that! And be like, “Umm.. snow?” I could have pretended it was fields of white flowers. Yes, that’s it. Many fields of white flowers.

  25. whoop whoop – she’s gonna soar like a butterfly next year in kindergarten! Try not to worry to much Mamma πŸ™‚

  26. Love the wings! Natalie and Scarlet would get along perfectly.

    Aw, Kindergarten orientation. I remember it with both kids. I remember being both sad and excited–excited to get quiet time, you see…

    1. They’d get along as well as the two of us would! And we’d all have cookies.
      I do look forward to the quiet.. although I’ll still have Des around!

  27. The look of complete joy on Scarlet’s face in those pictures is awesome!!! I’m so glad that kindergarten orientation went well – Scarlet is going to love everything about it!!!

  28. Whenever my kids reach milestones like this I canbe sick for days.Literally. I have a secret that I haven’t told and in general don’t think I am. Lucas did not graduate high school which means he can’t go into the Navy. While part of me is scared about his future the other part of me is glad to have my “baby” home longer. I’ve actually been less sick since I found this out. I clearly need a therapist.Anyway, the point is that I get it.

    1. What kind of sick? I can definitely understand the sensitivity to this stuff. I can get nauseous with stress. Not always, and sometimes not for years, but other times it’s really bad.
      Thank you for sharing your secret!

  29. Oh Tamara! I feel like such a butterfly always. Things are forever changing with me seriously. I think my faith has been the same, but it has grown and it has changed me to my inner core and affects how I handle so many things. That’s the part that seems to change so much that many I know wouldn’t be able to begin to understand. So happy for you all with this new milestone. Scarlet is going to do so well in kindergarten. But I know you already know that. πŸ™‚ Yes, Des does always have this wonderfully innocent bewildered look. I love how you capture that so well for us to see.

    1. That’s so cool! I feel like things are forever changing with me too, sometimes in tiny ways. Sometimes not.
      Des was pretty sick but I’ll never forget how he felt about the warm(ish) sun. He was bewildered!

  30. I’ve gotten those moments – when looking at my children and are reminded of some painful memories, but doing your best not to let it affect them… I’ve always said the difficult part of being a mother is the emotional aspect of it – protecting them (and having to be strong in order to do so)…

    1. That is definitely the most difficult. It’s funny to me when my siblings say things like, “The #1 reason I’m afraid to have kids…POOP!” And I know (think) they’re joking but I want to laugh because that is such a non-issue. You get used to it and they potty train after 2-3 years.
      It’s the rest that’s scary!

  31. The kindergarten transition is hard and scary for everyone. You will be fine – both of you. You need to get the book called Wemberly Worried. It’s about a mouse who is worried about going to school. Very cute!

  32. I am right there with you. I was a mess when Alice started Kindergarten and I’m a mess about first grade, too. I think every age and every grade is going to make me emotional. And all Stella can talk about is how she is going into the Fours and someday, Micah will be in the Twos. My favorite thing right now is watching the kids when they don’t know that I’m watching. It’s like a dream sometimes.

    1. Isn’t it? A dream. I feel like I’m meant to be the parent of small children. I dig everything about it – ice cream, play groups, doing things safely, slowly and with comfort.
      Umm.. what am I going to do when they get older?
      Have more kids?

  33. Oh Tamara…I LOVE Des’ huskies shirt. adorbs.

    I can’t even talk about the graduation with my friends. I literally fan them off. This crazy sense of nervousness as you call it takes over me and I can’t communicate. I am going to make his kidergarten evening a celebration with all of his favorite people…and its right before I head to savannah for fitbloggin so the peeps in georgia might think I’m a nutcase…….oh well. This only happens once with each kid and I love basking in all of their innocence…while it lasts…sorry to get so rambly you KNOW what this topic does to me!!

    1. I hear you! I actually had near panic attacks at the Q&A session about kindergarten back in the winter. I just.. couldn’t really cope with it. I needed air, badly, and I left early. Which was fine because I had missed the Q&A at her actual school and I was attending one at another school and the second half was just a tour of the school.
      I was afraid.. I’d still be like that. But it’s spring now and she’s excited and I decided no more near panic attacks!
      I love your rambling. I get you hard! Hard!

  34. Awww…she really is a happy girl, isn’t she? I can’t believe you’ve already had Kindergarten orientation, too. We went to an open house in the fall, and testing is happening next week, but we’re nowhere near an actual orientation. And as difficult as this time must be for you, there’s no doubt that it will also be a time of great growth in addition to great love.

    1. She is such a happy girl!! And testing?? I don’t think we have that! Or else I would know. I remember being tested for kindergarten, though.

  35. I love that she is wearing her wings and dancing around with Tinkerbell. I cannot tell how many times the same scene unfolds around here. And is such sweetness and light that you wish you could enclose it up in a cocoon so that nothing dark would ever chase it away. But of course, wings are also for flying. that’s the bittersweet.

  36. ah. My sweet little wife. I feel you and I feel the transitions and the cocoons and the scariness and the fear and the hope and the dreams. I feel all of it and want to say that you did this perfectly perfect, as always, even playing catch-up with the (thank you no more) snow photos because yes to butterflies.
    Each night, Tucker and I play a game where we are the egg, the hungry caterpillar, the cocoon, and the butterfly. These days. How can we NOT cry? How can we not.

    1. I know! I’m really focusing on BlogU right now. Then it will be graduation.. Then summer. I think it’s going to be ok. I think I’ll save most of my tears for September.

  37. I think big transitions are hard…probably a lot of times harder for us than them. I remember when I took my daughter off to preschool for the first time and there are kids everywhere crying and she’s all “you can go now.” She’s always been like that, ready for the new transition with nerves of steel. Not me. And not the boys. Two falls from now is going to be a hard transition for me, when my oldest leaves for college. I look at old pictures and wonder where my baby went, and how it happened so quickly.

    1. Scarlet is mostly ok with things. Des is going through a very clingy phase right now that makes it hard for me to see beyond, however, he wasn’t born with this. It’s probably a recent part of turning two, teething, growing. And he’s fine with Cassidy and some of his grandparents so I can leave. It’s still really hard on my heart!

  38. Oh I remember my daughter starting kinder and the knowing it was the beginning of a new era. 5 years on and I can say the school stage is incredible in tis own way, just like the babies at home era was magical in its special way. Your photos as always are exquisite.

    1. It was, and it stretched on! Five glorious years. Now we’ll get another because she’ll be at the same school for six years. I dig that. A new consistency!

  39. Here I am, having coffee with you this morning as I play catch up. Loving the way your words bring me back to all the kindergarten starts that have squeezed my heart over the years, and grateful that you share the gift of your writing with us! And the photos *sigh*… beautiful!

    1. Well thank you! I raise you my own mug and say “cheers.” Kindergarten starts are so heart-squeezing and I haven’t even had one yet. Soon. She’s going away from both of us this weekend for the first time in ages and I just want to hug her for like.. seven hours.

  40. The photos of Scarlet are so happy, I can’t help but smile at them. She’s going to be great. Kids know to be excited – we’re the ones who have the fear. I do the same as you – shelter them from my own anxieties so they can live in this moment and enjoy it for all it is.

    1. I love her happy photos! It was one of the first warm days of 2014. Remember when winter was so bad that 55 felt like heaven? Yeah, it was that.

  41. Awww watching our children grow is exciting and scary all at the same time! How is that possible? You want them to stay small but you also want the new experiences. These photos capture her in all the child like innocence! I’m sure you will treasure these photos!

    1. Always! We’re constantly looking for new ones to frame or put on canvas too. I love her happiness very much. My photos make me realize how much of a happy kid we’re raising, even though I see her all day too. This proof is more concrete and less subject to whiny change!

  42. 1. Those times when their growth isn’t the easy or funny growth spurt or learning to throw a spiral, they’re hard to witness. Because they often have to navigate on their own, through mean words at them or by them, or any of the small losses of innocence every child must go through. It’s hard to just be a witness.

    2. Marie has a quote she found online that said “Butterflies don’t know the color of their wings, but human eyes can tell how beautiful they are. Likewise, you don’t know how good you are, but others can see that you are special.”

    3. The cookie store sounds like a good plan for good days. And awful days. Hell, an all the days in between.

  43. Oh… kindergarten orientation! Hard to believe I will be there with my J in just a year! Those butterfly/fairy pictures are just magical. I’m so in love with your house! It reminds me a lot of a rental house we stayed in on a Colorado vacation a couple of years ago. We got the best “playing outside on the deck” pictures there!

  44. You have again captured Scarlet so carefree and happy! Ah yes, it is a big transition for kids and moms. All things that change are scary but I honestly believe it is how we grow, even if they are never easy! I love that you and she are talking about the upcoming change – that is so important because there will be many talks in the future and communication is key. Plus cookies make just about any kind of change better!

    1. Scarlet always quotes me because one day I was desperate and told her that cookies make most things feel better. So if something is wrong she’ll ask for a cookie! As if we have an endless supply of them at home. Sadly, we don’t.

  45. I can totally relate to how you felt, as I felt the same way in regards to being nervous with Kayden’s transition first year of “real school” (we start with 4K here). I was soooo nervous, and it was very hard for me to relax and let go into the school’s care. I even shed a couple of tears and we sat down for breakfast on her very first day. Now ending her second year, she is in the swing of things and loves EVERYTHING about school! I’m now starting this transition again with Kamryn who will be beginning 4K this upcoming August. I know for a fact I will be getting all choked up all over again! I’m glad that Scarlet loved her experience at Orientation and she will be pro after a while!

    1. Oh wow, all over again! At least you’ve gained some comfort and knowledge. I wonder if it will be easier when it’s Des, or harder since he’s my baby!! Maybe there will be a third.

  46. Beautiful! She is adorable! You captured her spirit! Thanks for sharing on Whatever Wednesday at Thank You Honey! Hope to see you next week!

  47. So, your kids are so lucky to have you. True confessions, I think I was the first one to sign up for kindergarten. I was excited about being able to make a dentist appointment! What can I say? But I’m feeling it now that my baby is approaching her senior year of high school. I have a feeling I’m going to cry my way through next year…

    1. Oh this is funny! I was the first person there on the first (of three) registration days. I’m just very punctual and I wanted it done. I was nervous even for that. Like… breathless nervous.
      I’m getting better, though.

  48. Scarlet is great! I know I cried with my son’s first day of kindergarten. He already went to “school” so I was taken aback from it. Granted, I can’t wait until Bee gets in their and rocks everyone’s world. I wouldn’t mind keeping Butterfly home for a little while longer! πŸ™‚

  49. Oh my goodness, I hear you and feel you in this Tamara. These moments… they are so hard.

    What gorgeous photos Tamara… truly. You are amazing at capturing the spirit of a moment. I could be dancing there too with my own set of butterfly wings.

    I nearly started bawling when you shared how Scarlet said, “Of all of your jobs, being Mama is my favorite.” OH. MY. Beautiful mommy moment right there. What a precious soul.

    Wishing you a lovely weekend.

    1. She is a precious soul! I totally feel like sobbing that tomorrow is her last day of school. And what’s with me getting to comments five days later?
      Oh yes. Blog conference weekends.

  50. Everett graduated from pre-school today. I’m usually not sentimental about this stuff but I was definitely having a moment during his ceremony. I don’t know how he got to big. And I know that we’ve talked in passing about this before but I feel that creeping sense of dread as Jasper approaches the age I was when my father passed and I know that it will be a bit surreal. I almost envision these theatrical flashbacks but that’s more my flare for drama.

    1. I hear you so much! Des is the second and I was the second and I was nearly four when my father passed so sometimes I think the worst is yet to come. Or else, the worst is over and now we move on and grow. I’m still not sure!
      Graduation is on Friday. Yeep!

  51. I so admire the fact that you told Scarlet about times when you get scared too. I truly believe that as parents we should be strong for our children while at the same time not shielding them from our vulnerability. That’s why I don’t hesitate to tell Luke when I’m nervous or frustrated; I don’t hesitate to say sorry when I need to. Because he doesn’t need to think his mom is perfectβ€”he needs to know that we all struggle and that it’s OK. It’s part of the process of becoming a butterfly…over and over again.

    1. I love how you pointed that out. I guess it came so naturally to me that I didn’t even know if it was the right move or a taboo move to tell her I have fears too. But I really do!
      I was so nervous for BlogU – so nervous!

  52. I’d be scared too — going to kindergarten or being the mom who has to drop her off. Life definitely is always changing and it seems like you are taking it all in stride. Beautiful photos of your children. Definitely captures their personalities.

  53. Transitions are certainly hard, Tamara. I tend to focus on what was instead of embracing what is coming next. As much as I think “It is a process” is such a overused cliche, the heart of that statement is so true. We continue to hold on and let go and repeat again.

    1. Yes we do. Hold on, let go, hold on, let go.
      I am trying to think of all of the wonderful, exciting things that are ahead and it helps.

  54. My heart just stopped reading this. Sending him to kindergarten was traumatic for all of us. All the fear you wrote…sigh…it is still fresh in my heart.
    She’s going to hold her own. Transition is so hard, sometimes harder on the parent. But watch her grow into those wings…you’d be surprised πŸ™‚

  55. i wrote my college english thesis on virginia woolf’s insect imagery and how her characters evolve. this reminded me of that. how we all are still growing and changing, whether little children or adults. yay for miss scarlet butterfly.

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