Having just celebrated the birth of a new year — happy 2012, everyone! — I have been wondering with a little trepidation what this year holds for our family.
2011 was a great year for us, thanks in large part to the arrival of Baby Sis. N matured tremendously and grew into her role as big sister. We even got her bedtime back under control (mostly). Everything seemed to be “smooth sailing” for a while.
Looking ahead to 2012, there are changes on the horizon. This September, N will start kindergarten (GULP!!) in the NYC public schools. Luckily, we live one block away from a terrific neighborhood school — consistently one of the better public schools in Brooklyn. But I’m already nervous.
The school is quite large — 1,000 students with a total of 10 kindergarten classes. I think to myself — what if N finds it big and overwhelming? What if she doesn’t feel like she fits in? What if the other kids are mean to her? Won’t she miss her old preschool friends and teachers? What if she is miserable at this school for the next six years of her life??
Of course, everything will be fine. We’ll have challenges to work through, and we’ll get through them. But that doesn’t stop me from tearing up about it. Kindergarten is a huge step forward in a child’s life — one to be celebrated, for sure, but just like every other step forward into the world, it takes her just a little further away from me.
Sigh. At least I still have little Baby Sis. But lately I’ve been misty-eyed about her getting bigger too. Last week, she nursed for the last time, switching completely to a diet of solid food and formula. I had nursed her for the first six months of her life, providing her only source of nourishment. Now that she’s weaned, I’m glad for the freedom to go out for an evening and enjoy a margarita. But I do miss those quiet, intimate moments that she and I shared daily for six months.
By the end of this year, our 6-month-old baby will be an 18-month old toddler, and N will be five years old. Talk about the changes one year can bring!
One of my New Year’s resolutions is to slow down and enjoy everyday moments with these girls. Yet when I do, I wind up with a weird feeling of nostalgia — not for the past, but for the present. It’s as if I’m looking back on what’s happening right now. Is that because we parents subconsciously relive our childhoods through our kids? I’m not sure. But I do know that we have some big changes coming up this year, and I’m already missing 2012 before it even starts.