Big Girls

First:  the bug update.  I’m pretty sure that it was black flies and mosquitoes all along.  Yesterday J and her BFF went into the woods and when they emerged, BFF was covered with bites and J had a few bites on the bottoms of her feet and one along her hairline behind her ear–some of the few spots not covered by the Skin So Soft.  So this morning I was working it into her hair and her ears and between her toes.  Yuck.

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Today was J’s last day of nursery school.  Yes, I cried.

Saying goodbye to nursery school.

Tonight at bedtime I asked J how she felt about being done.  “Sad,” she said.  “I’ll miss my teacher and my friends and the snack.”  But, really, she spent the whole day elated, telling everyone that she had “graduated” from nursery school.  She’s excited for kindergarten.

At the beginning of the school year, the kids were measured, and today, they all got measured again.  So as they were leaving, each child was wearing a little name tag that showed how much they’d literally grown while at school that year.  J was 3 inches taller.  I hadn’t noticed.  W didn’t even believe us when we told him.

Skipping toward kindergarten.

After M came home from school, we trekked over to Mohawk Commons in search of  bathing suits, summer pjs, and sneakers. As the girls tried on shoes and suits, I felt as if I kept having to rummage for bigger sizes than I’d expected.  Then  M convinced me to let her walk all the way across Target to try on her bathing suit while J & I were still shopping.  J settled on a swimsuit while I fretted, and we were turning the cart to rush over to the dressing rooms when M trotted back to us, glowing with grown-up-girl self-sufficiency.

After the clothes, M begged and begged to be allowed to buy ice cream at the grocery store by herself.  Apparently W had let her run back into the store when he’d forgotten something, and the thrill of this independent venture left her hungry for more.  Also, she was just hungry for ice cream.    And since we’d had a nursery school lunch-and-ice-cream outing without her, I was feeling generous, and her incident-free dressing room visit made me feel (somewhat) brave.  So we stopped at Hannaford, and I handed her a ten and she ran into the store alone while J and I waited in the car out front.

We were driving  home, the girls singing along with Taylor Swift, and I was just overwhelmed by how old they’d become.  I’m not really a mommy to little girls anymore, but a mother of daughters.

As we sat at a red light, a breeze brought a flurry of those white fluffs–I think they’re cottonwood seeds?–that fall every year at this time.  They always remind me of waiting for M to be born, because they’d land in great heaps all around the hotel where we were staying when I was 9 months pregnant and taking walks to bring on labor.

Cottonwood Seeds falling.

The cottonwood puffs–come on!  It was a total Sunrise, Sunset moment.  So I’m feeling proudly melancholy tonight.

Cottonwood fluff and Buttercups

I wasn’t sure, in the bright sunlight, if I’d be able to see the white in any of the pictures I took, but it’s easier to see among the buttercups.  Plus, J was picking them–she is always picking wildflowers–and she asked me to take a picture.   The two of them together almost feels like a family portrait to me–my little girls blossoming and floating away. . . uh-oh, getting maudlin.  I think I need a glass of wine!


  1. HollowSquirrel

    Oh K, this post made me cry. Seeing you crying at nursery school made me cry, too, so thanks a lot. M IS such a big and responsible girl. You’re helping them to be independent and wise. xoxo

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