Promise.

This is my love letter to you.

Scarlet went to summer camp for four weeks this summer. It was a pilot program through her preschool and there were only four weeks offered, so we gobbled up all four and nearly begged for more. There were/are no more. I was honestly ok about her last day of preschool itself because it was Des’ birthday and I had to stay cool. And it was raining, which is ridiculous anyway. And, I knew she still had another month. I knew she had summer camp at the preschool. And on the last camp day, which was on my birthday because we can’t do anything halfway in this freakin’ family and in this freakin’ world, it occurred to me that I’d never see her bounce out of that building again as a student. Hunched under the weight of her too-big backpack because my child is FIERCE and she opens her mouth to have straight fairy wisdom come out of it, but she is pretty much the size of a three-year-old.

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(First day of preschool ever – three-years-old.)

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(First day of second year of preschool – four-years-old. Des wanted to come too, I guess.)

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(Beautifully, haughtily now-ish. And that is green frosting on her face, oh yes it is.)

Yesterday I got the emails about school starting. It’s one month until kindergarten starts. It’s one month until Des’ part-time daycare starts. A day apart for them, because we can’t do anything halfway in this freakin’ family and in this freakin’ world.

I’ve been soothing/fascinating/tear-inducing myself with this new Tori Amos video.

That right there is what I need to see. It’s a love story – do you see it? It’s comfort and breakdowns and love and letting go and letting back in. It’s a love story between mother and daughter. I have my own love story. It started on July 9th, 2009 and the love wasn’t overwhelming at first. It wasn’t. How could it be? I was tired and hungry and I needed a shower and I wanted the whole world out of my hospital room, and yes, even my husband. I wanted to hear no voices telling me what to do/feel/love.

And then I was alone with her and I knew.

And then I was home with her and I knew.

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And she’s five now and I know.

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(Can’t you just see the goodness radiating off of her?)

It’s our story. It’s our love story. She comes from a long line of strong and opinionated women, and most importantly – POSITIVE women. Being positive. That opens doors, much more than good hair and good luck and good brains. And whatever else they say.

Positively.

I’ve been weepy lately and pinning photos of teeny, tiny baby clothes, and articles about morning sickness. And you know what? I’m not even remotely pregnant or trying to be, for that matter, but I am experiencing a birth and rebirth. Of myself. And of her, through my own memories and photos. I was setting up her stuffed animals on her bed after washing her sheets yesterday and I was overcome with a wave of grief. That’s how it comes. In waves. I thought of everything that was lost – the preschool, the teachers, the classmates, the friends. And then I realized that nothing was really lost at all. Just gained. So very gained.

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Every year we only feel like we lose so much because we gain so much instead. Hearts and minds expand – to fit it all in. To comprehend the slow, delicate baby steps needed to transition from sobbing about kindergarten to even THINKING about college and the like. Weddings and babies and whatnot. It takes baby steps and little hands and big, big bravery and big, big support.

And we all walk this together.

I didn’t expect it to hurt this much, is all. It’s not even pain so much as lightheaded panic, masking the deep-rooted pain. Every now and then I can pull a weed out, and notice how entrenched and long the roots were in the earth. It feels great – each weed. It didn’t even hurt this much when I was the one making these transitions as a child, because I was flying ahead of endings and goodbyes and graduations. I was reveling in summer and Myrtle Beach vacations, and I wasn’t even looking back and thinking, “What must she feel? To say goodbye to another year? To say goodbye to another me? To say goodbye to another her?”

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Maybe she handled it in stride, as I don’t. Maybe she sobbed into my covers, when I wasn’t home. Maybe I’ll ask her myself.

It’s a love story and a dance. We don’t really let go.

promise

It’s a love story and we’re all major players in it. And I promise to you, dear girl, to honor our story.

promise

“when I am all alone

you’re not alone

when I am broken down

we all break down

when every door is closed

there is one more

will you look for me?

I will rescue you”

— Promise

****************** And now for something new and exciting, I’m part of an awesome giveaway! ***********************

It’s pretty timely with this post about kindergarten angst, because it’s back-to-school themed! It’s time to head back to school, and I’m teaming up with Boogie Wipes to offer an awesome Back-to-School Giveaway for kids and moms!

Back-to-School giveaway from Boogie Wipes. Three winners will win a backpack and mommy clutch - full of school supplies, gift cards and Boogie Wipes. Ends August 22. Enter now!

Three lucky winners will receive a backpack stocked with school supplies (and Boogie Wipes) and a Mommy Clutch – full of everything moms needs (including gift cards!)

How to Enter

From following Boogie Wipes on social media to instagramming a picture of your favorite Boogie Wipes products, there are dozens of ways to enter – and a few ways to enter every single day.

Back-to-School giveaway from Boogie Wipes. Three winners will win a backpack and mommy clutch - full of school supplies, gift cards and Boogie Wipes. Ends August 22. Enter now!

Complete the form below to get started.

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Looking for Great Back-to-School Ideas?


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Great back to school ideas for parents. Must read!

Good luck!

Giveaway is live Tuesday, August 5, 2014 until midnight on August 22, 2014. US and Canada residents only (excluding Quebec). Three winners will be randomly chosen and notified via email. Tamara (Like) Camera received no compensation for sponsoring this event, and is not responsible for the delivery of the prize. Prize delivery is the sole responsibility of Boogie Wipes.

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129 Comments

  1. Oh man now you got me sobbing like a baby after reading this and how I am going to make it in the next few weeks. Have I told you we have taken out more Kindergarten “first day” books then I think anyone has. Emma is fine with starting and totally excited, the books deep down are more for me, because I am not joking when I say I am not ready and yet ready or not – September and the first day will be here before we both know. I will so be texting you that day and virtually holding your hand. I guess the only good thing is we can go through this together at the very least.

    1. Remember when we finally exchanged phone numbers and it was like, “Well why didn’t we do this ages ago??” I’m so glad we remedied that. I’m going to need it..

  2. I knew I shouldn’t have red this before bed. I am dealing with my children growing up and it is so bittersweet. I want them to grow and thrive, but I miss my babies. I do want them to know that I love them and I tell them so everyday. I was in tears the day my baby boy became a kindergartner and I am sure I will be in tears again. I’m here with you! <3

    1. We’re in this together! Apparently I made my sister cry tonight. And she has no kids yet! She is in for it. What a journey that we all set forth on.

  3. I recently, as in last week, wrote a letter to my spiritual teacher andI talked about how the mother/daughter dance is sacred. Our mothers teach us everything and then we grow up and we learn together..through Dunkin Doughnut conversations, mad dashes to get baby essential for the baby due the next week, road trips and more. We share and intertwine our ideas. Then, our mothers are so old that we become their caregivers..such an eternal and sacred dance. Do you know what was the most pleasing thing to hear? It’s when my mom still called me “dear”, the proof of our original contract, that somewhere outside of linear time, she was still my mommy!

    1. Always. That is magical. I was selfish – I would have liked all four generations of females together at once.. Well.. Forever. Scarlet and I are so close lately. I used to worry that she was Cassidy’s and maybe Des was mine. (Hard to believe now that he throws things at my head while I’m eating dinner). Now I know how stupid it is. She has always been and will always be very much mine. And his. Can’t imagine life without a daughter. I wouldn’t even mind another one, if pregnancy didn’t scare me so much.

  4. Thank goodness Stella has one more year of nursery school because I don’t think I could handle a first day of kindergarten two years in a row. And Micah, forget about it. I have four years to get used to the idea.

    1. Oh yes. Three years for me with Des. And maybe a third baby if we can find a way for Cassidy to carry a child! If that’s not in the cards, I’m going to live up these next few years like nobody’s business. You in?

  5. This is so sweet. Right now I’m feeling like Christopher is growing up SO FAST that I don’t have a chance to feel sad about it. I just looked at some baby pictures the other day and even though it wasn’t quite 10 years ago I can’t believe it’s been that long. Just wow. And as for my mom, I’d never be able to ask her how she feels or felt because I’m sure I know and it would make me cry ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. I wonder if you’ll ever ask her? Or not is ok too! It’s funny to have this perspective of being in my 30’s and thinking that these kids are SO young. Just so young. And yet it still hurts to watch them grow, maybe even because I know that the big, big stuff has yet to come.

  6. I love this post so much. At first I thought I couldn’t relate, because I’m sickeningly unsentimental when it comes to things like babies taking first steps, first days of preschool, etc. But then I thought about the transition I’m getting ready to make of moving to a new town, very much taking a dive off into the deep end of the unknown, and I’ve been so sad about all the friendships I’m leaving behind (heck, even sad about leaving my house behind!) but really there is so much good stuff out there ahead of me, and it won’t be the same but I don’t think you ever truly lose good friendships, even when you see each other a lot less. Sigh… here comes change, whether I’m ready or not!

    1. I appreciate that. And I wish I could be less sentimental about things. There has to be a balance. Of feeling and coping. Mostly I can do it well. Sometimes I just can’t – and I guess it’s ok because I mostly can. And Cassidy handles life differently than I do, which is secure and refreshing.
      Many big changes for you!

  7. Oh, my heart. I look at my boys sometimes and wonder how they got so big. G’s going to be as tall as me soon! I can get very sentimental and sad about milestones like preschool graduation. But it’s also so fun to see them grow. I find myself watching their friends grow too. Some of them, I’ve known since they were in preschool as well! It’s all just so much.

    1. I still keep in touch with my baby group and Scarlet’s friends turning five is so freaky because I remember many of them as newborns. One even two-weeks-old! Yikes.

  8. Oh lordy this got me teared up, Tamara. That Tori Amos song is amazing and thank you for sharing it. It’s a beautiful transition and evolution for all of you. Sending you my blessings to the entire family, the process and the growth. So proud ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Isn’t that song something? It’s the video that gets me – they’re not acting! They are really feeling those lyrics and meanings! And that girl? She’s only 13!!
      It helps me to think about Scarlet changing. And to be happy she’s not. 13 too..
      Thanks for your most amazing words!

  9. It’s heart wrenching, isn’t it? My baby is starting kindergarten too–next Tuesday. She’s also the size of a three year old and tells me every day that she is going to miss me so much when she’s in school.

    It all goes by so fast.

    1. Aw!! I would cry. Scarlet tells me she’s a little scared and a little excited. Which sounds about right. Glad there’s still a month of summer..
      Scarlet is only 39-40 inches I believe! I was very small until after puberty and it looks like she may follow that trend.

  10. Oh the BIG K, we just finished that with my Rebekah. There were tears at both ends of that year. When she went to all day school this year for 1st grade that was the longest we had ever been apart! These transitions are tough on us moms and kids. Hugs as you face this new stage head on!

    1. Kindergarten used to be part time here, but now it’s full time. So I imagine that when it was part time, first-grade was really the shocker. Maybe it still is, actually.

  11. I shake my fist at you! Why am I all emotional now. I look at your babies and think of my own. I had that moment too when I looked back at my son’s school knowing we’d never be back. Why are all of these stages so hard?

    1. Aw! And I am laughing at the image of you shaking your fist at me. I don’t know if it’s hard for everyone, but some of us seem to feel a whole lot!

  12. Great. I was just going to bed, and now? I’m all weepy and emotional… drenched in your words, your photos, your life… and mine. My daughter’s first orientation of MIDDLE SCHOOL starts tomorrow. God how I remember those years… those painful terrifying years of not having this kind of joy. And my heart celebrates that I survived them and see her thriving… shining… new… healthy… with unending vitality. The fear is shifted- to the world. Not hers. But out there…

    So I thank God that her physical body can handle the challenge… and I pray for her emotional spirit to light the way… through the mess of middle school. From what I hear- I want to grab her and hold her tight- and never let her go… but I can’t do that. I would be holding her captive of shining her light.

    So I pray.

    That’s all I can do.

    Thanks for the sleepless night ahead.

    I love you for it. Because I always love to feel… emotion is real, and powerful and makes me feel alive.

    Even in the trenches of it all.

    1. Middle School. When I think of my own painful experience, I just can’t imagine. My parents did it. Five kids. And bullying/peer pressure/drugs/all of the above.
      No way. I’ll live in a bubble.
      Cassidy is amazing and funny and authentic and happy. She has a bright life ahead of her and she’ll always be ok because she’s strong as a bull and she has you for a mom.

  13. We are in the endings and beginnings here too – preschool, big school – so I know what you mean. I am so glad I have pictures. I love looking back on them because them moments are in there, tucked inside.

  14. It’s really not fair to have me crying before 6:30am Tamara!!! You really got me on this one. The transition to the big K is getting too real for me over here and I’m spinning most days. I’m mostly afraid of what’s going to happen to ME in September. My world will never be the same, and I’m trying to be positive about that so thank you for this. Thank you for putting the idea of a rebirth into my head. That’s exactly what I need!

    1. I am so sorry! I had so many tears when writing it. I do really think about how my days will feel. And Des will be going to daycare part-time. What will I do with myself? Cry into my pillow?

  15. Awww. What a lovely post. It’s really what this time of year is about, isn’t it. You almost can feel it in the weather which feels ambivalent at times. And grief in waves…I know EXACTLY what you mean.

    1. The weather does feel ambivalent at times! What a wonderful description. August is so weird. I feel sorry for it because where we live, August is fully summer. There is no school in August so there is still time to live it up!

  16. super fun giveaway.

    The clock is so ticking. I have mercifully been distracted by camp and all but that its coming to a close next week. We go on vacation and literally hours after we arrive we have to go back to school. It’s crazy. but it’s time. I feel good about it. I feel confident in him, I think the all day camp helped my anxieties a bit.

    1. That is wonderful! I think it’s going to be surprising because kindergarten is full time here. They used to be part time, so first-grade was the real shocker. Now I think it is kindergarten. I know I am not alone in my anxiety and excitement. And that helps a lot.

  17. We just did Katarina’s 11th birthday over the weekend. I’m astounded that it has been eleven years since I held a tiny baby in my arms and promised her we would do this life thing together, no matter what, always on the same team.

    And now you have me crying. Good tears.

    I am so touched by what you said about this mother-daughter relationship being a love story. It so is.

    1. I love good happy tears. And I love good love stories. I still have yet to get to that post. I think it will make me emotional! I’m excited to see how you rang in 11.

  18. I love the “evolution” photos of Scarlet. And I have to agree that nothing was lost, just gained. When I think about it now, I’ve experienced this kind of pain when I moved away from my hometown. It was bittersweet. I was crying all night until THE DAY. Not sure how this would be when Reiko starts going to school.

    1. When my parents told my childhood house it was most upsetting! I remember crying at my desk at work and I was a grown-up! But I don’t remember doing transitions so horribly, because I think I was always excited for what was coming.

  19. After reading this and all the comments I wish I could come to you and Allie and Janine (probably others, too) and make a back to school brunch for you on the big day:) This will be the start of a new chapter full of so much fun and excitement that it will fill your heart every day!!!

  20. Fun back to school giveaway! I can’t imagine what everyone must be feeling! It’s all happening, about to happen…ahhh! My emotions are going crazy for you. I love how you express it all in your writing though. It’s very calming to me. I hope it’s very calming for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Well, about all I can say is I totally relate, because my “baby” is a rising senior in high school. I’ve got about 9 months, and that’s it. I think I am going to cry at every concert (she’s a singer…) and school event. I’m not sad about leaving the school, or about her pursuing her future, I’m JUST GOING TO MISS HER!! And she’s already talking about going away to work next summer… and the thought of the whole thing hurts!

    1. Aww!! I guess to tell you to enjoy the heck out of these last nine months. I can’t even fathom how I’ll get to that point, but I guess we all learn through the years and we teach each other.

  22. Entered the giveaway!
    I am so touched! She is so incredibly beautiful, Tamara. Thank you for sharing this even if it did make me tear up a bit ๐Ÿ™‚
    <3 to my friend
    Jodi

  23. When you said that at first you didn’t know (when she arrived) but now you know. That’s me too. I always wondered what parents meant when they said they were “in love” with their kids. Now I know. I’m head over heels in love with them. Both of them. Wholly.

    1. Right! For some people, that starts at conception, or during pregnancy, or at birth. For me it was later and it keeps happening over and over. I guess it always will.

  24. You made my cry!! Like usual. Made me think of how difficult parenting Adrian is now and the only thing that gets me through it is knowing that “tomorrow is a new day” and hoping he behaves better the next day (which he doesn’t). Raising children is not easy and its so gut-wrenching. I just take it day by day and try to enjoy every single day!.

    1. That’s a wonderful outlook, and here’s hoping it does get easier. I think it has to sometimes. Scarlet is not a particularly difficult child at all, but parenting is still the most gut wrenching thing.

  25. I should know better than to read your stuff in a public place! Sigh. Raising kids is awesomely heart-breaking, isn’t it? Each birthday, each holiday, each school year makes me want to stake my place in the ground and hold on for dear life. Time is so fleeting. Yet it is hard to stay rooted in the present when you are planning a life. I don’t know. I feel like I need to come hang out after the kids are in bed (wink).

    1. I love the (wink).
      I feel like that too.
      Are you crying in public right now? That’s amazing if so. It happens to me every now and then, just if I think too hard about something. Like I said – waves of grief.

  26. I never thought about how my Mom handled the transitions of her children growing up. I agree as kids you are just always excited about the next thing. You never take time to think about how your parents feel. Now that I’m a mom I want my kids to stay the way they are sometimes, because this is such a fun time with them being 6 and 2. Every time I think of them turning 7 and 3 it makes me a little sad that they are getting so big. But I’m also proud of the little people they are and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them too.

    1. 7 and 3 certainly sounds older! Mine are 2 and 5 and I keep thinking how old 3 and 6 sounds! I’m nutty about that.
      I like that now I can talk to my mom about it. It helps to know what she was going through, and most importantly, how she went through it!

  27. Oh how this brought tears to my eyes. I think the most surprising thing about parenthood so far is the sadness I feel about Eve growing up. Yes, those changes are wonderful and magical and truly amazing and I love see her grow and change each day, but I can’t help but cry sometimes when I look at her (or right now, as I write this). It truly terrifies me sometimes. Of course, I wouldn’t want her to always be a newborn, or even a baby, but man, it’s hard watching her grow up sometimes, and she’s only 8 1/2 months!

    1. I remember you talking about that in the beginning – when Eve was born. I think you understood it better than I did until later. Sure I cried when looking at teeny, tiny baby socks, but everything about Scarlet’s babyhood felt long, luxurious and strong.
      It’s with Des that I started to lose it a bit!

  28. Great, now I’m crying. If it werent for Des photobombing that picture I would be a complete ,mess right now. I believe positivity is the key, the map, the answer, the way. And a major LOL at not doing anything halfway in your family.

    1. Photobombing in a Pink Floyd shirt, no less!
      Yes, he keeps it real. Like when I want to cry about Scarlet and he throws a Fisher Price goat at my head. Hard. Bonk! Or when I need a laugh and he runs around the house naked, screaming, “Nakey!”

  29. Beautiful! Yes she’s definitely from a strong line of women and thank goodness ๐Ÿ™‚ We need stronger willed women – and men. I swear I don’t get how there are so many men lacking balls – it’s mind boggling I’ve had a week encountering this and it’s just astonishing. I wonder where their cojones went – is it in their large intestine? Anyways, she’ll be great and look how big she’s getting! Amazing how time flies bah soon you’ll be planning graduations.. Omg I’ll be there first – I’M NOT READY!? Love her little purple outfit with the sweater, she look sso precious!! Happy Hump Day lovely! -Iva

    1. Oh, now you need to share some stories! About the cojones in their large intestines! That is RICH.
      You’ll be planning graduations for me so I’ll be looking to you for wisdom! Although you are so much more mellow than I am, it seems.

      1. LOL One day I will – I swear between the ones lacking cojones and the neutered ones who are trying to still mark their territory I’m just beyond myself with rage and annoyance. I am mellow until people are rude to someone who is SUPER sweet – I’m not that sweet but I am very protective of those in my circle and right now this said person is crossing a boundary and he GON FIND OUT. Lord give me patience. Lol Sorry had to ramble ๐Ÿ™‚ Omg I’m not ready to plan graduations ๐Ÿ™ I’m still trying to accept the fact htat he’s in the 2nd grade!

        1. I am mellow unless I’m REALLY hungry. Or trying to sleep. (don’t ask me about the 5:45am kitten on the loose this morning)
          And. If someone copies me or pushes me or pressures me? I am. Not. Nice.
          2nd grade! Wah!!

  30. I feel for you and the other moms I know whose oldest are starting kindergarten soon. It doesn’t get easier, but the joy and love only gets greater. I can’t think about this too much or I get weepy, and I don’t have time to weep this month. Next month I’ll let it all out. God help me!

    1. I can take that – if it doesn’t get easier, but the joy and love gets greater. No weeping, though. No weeping. So.. cookies. Yes. Let’s think about cookies?

  31. I’ve been looking at my little girls in the same light lately. Bee is just brimming with personality and Butterfly is trying her darndest to catch up! She started throwing her food out detestation… I don’t remember her siblings doing it so early. Ive considered putting both of them in daycare for a couple of hours a week, just so I can think, but it breaks my heart to even think it.

    1. I hear you! Des is doing part time, mornings only this fall. I think he will need it because I will bore him here at home and I need some time to work. Breaks my heart, though!

    1. You’re so right! I’m going to go from having both kids home all day, to having one gone nearly all day five days a week, and the other will be apart for me for eight hours a week. I’ll be doing lots of work! Blah. And maybe some fun spa time too..

  32. I remember the day 2 years ago when my youngest started kindergarten. They all did preschool, but that was the first day they were all three gone at the same time all day. The silence was deafening and wonderful and overwhelming and sad and happy all at the same time. I survived and you will, too, my friend! Some moments will be harder than others, though. Big hugs to you and, if you get lonely, you have my number!

    1. Deafening and wonderful.. I can see that. Both kids will be at least partly out of the house this fall. I will have to step it up with my business, or at least just catch up.
      I am having trouble even thinking about it.. any of it.

  33. Oh Tamara… this is beautiful. Again, I know exactly what you mean, and applaud your willingness to see the gains. I think with change sometimes it’s hard to appreciate the good/gains, we just look at what’s been left behind or lost. I would be a BIG FAT LIAR if I didn’t say I’m an emotional wreck every year when school starts. Last school year was the one of the hardest, with the ‘baby’ starting Kindergarten. This will be hard because it’s our first SC school year & we have had such a good time together all summer long ::sigh:: I’ll be here if you need me.
    XO

    1. I wonder a lot if it will be harder for Des to start kindergarten. One on hand, it will be old hat. On the other hand, he’s my baby!! Although like you felt yourself at one point.. sometimes I wonder if it’s not done yet. We shall see. Scarlet is excited about kindergarten. She talks about meeting new friends and learning to read. So there’s that!

  34. Oh, that song is beautiful! I love the way you write about hearts and minds expanding because it’s easy to forget that they do and that they can fit it all in.

  35. There’s just something about kids turning 5 that seems so BIG. Out of the little kid phase and into the actual kid phase. Those year-by-year photos are incredible. They really do show how mature she’s gotten. This isn’t helping isn’t it? She will know when she grows up how much you loved her and cared for her. You can’t read these posts without seeing it. Just keep nurturing that positivity…it’s such a rare and wonderful trait these days.

    1. That’s it. I’ve always been a parent of littles. Now I have a.. kid. Although she’s quite little for a five-year-old! Until she opens her mouth.
      I am even getting teary-eyed at what you said about the love and care and nurturing.

  36. My goodness, how did time past so fast! I remember you just writing about Scarlet starting school the other day. Now I blink and its nearly time for her to start school. Geez! I can’t even imagine how I’ll feel when my son starts school. Its too much! I want him to grow up, but he’s just so sweet and precious now. Never-ending parenting battle of the heart and logic!

    1. You said it perfectly!
      It’s hard to think of the new life. Of full-time school and not being able to jet away whenever we want to, because it’s frowned upon when you’re out of preschool!
      That part is hard – not feeling like she’s “mine” as much. Of course she is, though.

  37. I think I may have told you this before – but I don’t get sentimental about education milestones. I feel proud.
    What gets me is that time is generally an a*hole, and when I see my oldest make decisions about certain things all on his own, his speech just improving day after day (and after 3 1/2 years of frustrating very-little-talking, that is huge); I hear my 2 year old speaking in sentences, and imagine-playing with his trucks/ cars, feeding himself, putting on his own clothes – those things make me weep. Especially when I look at pictures of videos of them when they were small and practically helpless burritos. I cried when they stopped breastfeeding. I was brought to me knees when they both started just being with each other, being brothers, being old enough to be aware that they’re family, and that they love each other.

    So, I get it. I do.

    1. When Scarlet weaned, I remember feeling like I was in a feverish, nauseous daze for a day. I thought it was just the hormones but now I really believe it was heartbreak. Anxiety.

  38. Awwwwww, I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to watch your children get bigger/grow old. Bittersweet, I’m sure. But your pictures capture everything so beautifully. Also, I’m going to see Tori in concert next week! She is my all-time favorite so the fact that you just included her here, well, I love you all the more for it.

    1. That is so awesome! I feel like I grew up with her, and I used to see her live all of the time. I hope she plays the song and I hope you tell me all about it.

      1. Me too! Though I’m much more a fan of her older stuff so I hope she plays stuff off of “Little Earthquakes” and “Under the Pink” (though I’m sure she will). I’ll keep you posted (hoping to blog about some of my summer concerts at some point!)

        1. Well I have to confess that this is the only new song of hers I know! I don’t think I’ve bought the last four or five albums. I’m the worst! Under the pink is my favorite.

  39. I am soooo not ready for Kindergarten. Where did the time go? You are not the only one weepy….another lovely post. You have a gift Tamara to make people feel so much just from reading your words, and looking at your pictures. You are a true artist. Just remember to do something fun the first day they go away from you!

    1. Well you made my day two different ways. One to tell me about my gift, because I feel it lacking lately. And two, to remind me I need to do something really nice for myself on that first day with both in school.

  40. I love how you describe it as a “lightheaded panic” because that’s exactly how I felt when my boys went off to kindergarten! Now they are 19 and 17, and on many days I can’t even think about that. Even though I’m so proud of where they are now, I still miss their little boy days.

    1. That makes me feel so good that you have felt this too. For me, it could be an anxiety symptom which is not at all a good thing, but it is temporary. People tell me there are perks to every age, and there are definitely perks of having older kids that I look forward to.

  41. Know what it’s like? It’s like when you don’t even notice but you’ve walked out on a tightrope, and you don’t know it until you’re about 1/3 of the way there, or even 4/5, and you can’t turn back, can you? There’s fear, yes, but there’s also adventure and there’s all kinds of unknown awesome on the other side. So take it one step at a time, keep your arms balanced, and don’t look down.

  42. It is hard when they get big. I’m sad that Natalie is growing up. I want her to stay little.

    However, I love when she’s at school. She can drive me insane.

  43. This is just breathtakingly beautiful a wonderful description of watching our children grow! It’s fleeting…it’s amazing, and a little bit of melancholy all wrapped into one. LOVE THIS!

  44. Oh man, you got me again Tamara!!! Only you know how to give me a instant runny nose and cloudy eyes! Love this post, it was beautiful. And beautiful quote from that song, which also made me weepy. Childhood is such a magical time, I know for sure I never stopped to think how my mom felt about each passing season. I love that your daughter will have this to read back on one day.

    1. It’s the same for me! It just strikes me that I don’t think I was selfish, but I just know that I was more thinking about me going through transitions. And as a parent, Scarlet seems to thrive much more than I do! Maybe that’s why I didn’t really think about my mom because she probably remained calm the way I do for Scarlet.

  45. Love, love, love. This is even better than getting to read your post in the car – the car broke down and I’m sitting in a mechanic shop in Memphis – so I’m reading here. Love all the pictures of your dear sweet girl. Can’t believe how much can happen in one year!

  46. Hmmmm, I shouldn’t have read this right before we head off for Everett’s 5th birthday party. I don’t even know how to describe how I love this post (and ohmygosh Scarlet looks so grown up!). But it is like waves. I find myself just watching the boys a lot these days and being struck over and over again how big they are getting and bounding into life and their own personalities. Just love this.

    1. Thank you! I do often write with that in mind, that they will one day see all of this. And hopefully not be too embarrassed! And hopefully they will still think I’m cool!

  47. Yes, I truly CAN see the goodness radiating off of her! And you, as well. Amazing girl, amazing mama.

  48. This same sentiment hit me as my daughter entered third grade. She seems so grown up and ready to forge her independence, while I stand behind, trying to make sense of it all.

  49. I feel like an old hat at this back to school thing this year, but next year when my youngest goes to Kindergarten?? All bets are off. I don’t care what anyone else says, but sending your youngest to Kindergarten is a *thing* that comes with lots of tears!

  50. it’s so good to read this while my franco is still just a baby (3 months). it makes me want to treasure every single moment before he’s off to kindergarten. i cried when the nanny took him for a full day. i can only imagine when he goes to school!

    1. It’s so true. And then I feel lucky to just have a kindergartner because people talk about bringing their kids to college and I nearly Lose It.

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