Parenting and family, served with a shot of vodka
About a month ago, my five-year-old son started kindergarten. It was a gut-wrenching first week, more so for me than him. But once I got done crying over how my little, first-born baby was now as tall as my chest and going off to have a bit of a life without us, I realized something fantastic.
I am more free to know my two-year-old daughter.
I mean, obviously, I know her. But now that my son is gone for seven hours a day, my girl and I are able to do things she wants to do, uninterrupted. During tea parties, she carefully prepares my pink flowered teacup with cream and sugar. She serves her Disney princesses, who are carefully perched in small high chairs and rockers, tea and cakes and cookies.
We play doctor, and she checks my “blood heart” (blood pressure), and tells me my heartbeat sounds like music and brings me a toy apple to help me heal.
When she’s playing or drawing pictures, she sings everything from “The Old Lady Who Swallowed the Fly” to “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift to “You Beat Me to the Punch” by Mary Wells. Except she always says, “you beat me to the punt,” and it’s so freakin’ adorable.
Today, I caught her in the kitchen, reaching up over the kitchen counter, plucking cherry tomatoes from a container and eating them. Her cheek was stuffed like a chipmunk, and there was a little splat of tomato innards on her favorite Minion shirt, and she had the cutest, mischievous smirk on her face. My heart just swelled with love.
All these moments, they would happen anyway, even if my mini superhero were home. But because he’s not, I get the chance to truly absorb and appreciate them. To see the person she is becoming, and to nurture her interests. I had that chance with my son for three years before she was born. Now it’s her turn for some spotlight. And I am grateful to have the time to give it to her.
I know soon enough, she’ll be heading off on the school bus for her first day of kindergarten. And that, my friends, is the day I will need you all to come over and either A) have a glass of wine with me, or B) loan me your baby, because our baby factory is closed down.
I can’t wait for tomorrow.