My First Year of Preschool is Over

Okay, so, sure it was BigBrother’s first year of preschool. But if you really think about it, this was also my first year of preschool. I never went to preschool! (What? It was the 80’s and we lived in the country. No one went to preschool.) More over, I have learned so much as a mother in the past nine months thanks to his attendance at his preschool.

Sure, sure. He learned things. Lots of things! And, maybe more important to me this year than anything else, he really came out of his shell. He made friends. He also now says “hello” to people when we are out and about. (At this time last year and possibly even up until February of this year, he would hide behind me, ignore them or make his defensive growling sound.) He’s become a social being in the past year and is now able to follow the instructions of someone other than myself or FireDad. All of that’s totally awesome. I have no doubt that we made the right decision to send him a year early.

And he’s grown since that first day!

First Day vs Last Day

But me? What have I learned?

1) I’m never going to be that Perfect Mom. I’m not crafty. The other moms give better Halloween (and Valentine’s Day and Christmas and and and) treat bags. I am thankful that I am an involved, caring mother but I am never going to be perfect. Nope. Not going to happen.

2) Book orders are the best thing on the planet. End of discussion.


3) My child is a different child for other people. A well-behaved, well-mannered child at that. I know this should make me feel good; my parenting lessons are sinking into his three and a half year old brain. But, really, would it be so hard for him to use his ears at home? Is that too much to ask? Yes. Shucks.

4) Letting go is difficult. He had an issue with a bully-type child at school. Every time BigBrother told me that he got pushed or hit or punched, I wanted to call the teachers and ask for something to be done. I knew, however, that they were working with the other child and, as such, I just had to tell my (precious) boy that we don’t push or hit back; tell a teacher immediately.

5) The moment we let go and allow our children to mix with other children, they’re going to bring home words that we don’t use. Some of it was adorable. That one time when he told me that it was time to “rock and roll?” I laughed until I cried. Some other words made my head spin a little bit and I had to explain that some words are ugly and can hurt other people’s feelings. In fact, we talked a lot about feelings this year. I figure we’ll be doing that for quite some time.

6) He still needs me. Despite the physical, emotional and independent growth he has experienced this year, the truth remains: he still needs me. He does! I had feared, when he started school, that I was somewhat replaceable, that these teachers would soon replace me as my son’s favorite person to turn to when the going got tough. That’s not the case. In the middle of the night, he calls for me. He still asks me to read him books despite the fact that his teachers read to him as well. He still wants me to play with him, to engage in imagination games and to put together puzzles or play games. I’m still needed. I’m still wanted. And I think that’s an important thing to remember.

I dropped him off awhile ago, snapping pictures: first of him, then of both he and his girlfriend. He was animated but still generally sad that school is “over.” He has also informed me that he is going to college next year where he will have a Buzz Lightyear bed. Also, Yia Yia (Greek for grandmother, meaning my Mom) is going to go to college with him. Why not me? Because I have to take care of LittleBrother, of course. Logic from a three year old. Who knew?

Last Day of School

I’ll pick him up in two hours. He’ll tell me all about his day. FireDad and I will make a big deal out of the last day of school, just as we did the first day of school. We’ll have a present ready for him. We’ll make a special meal. We’ll probably run around in the yard afterward (as the thundershowers have been magically postponed). And then, tonight, I’ll put him to bed. He’s not the same little boy I put to bed nine months ago. He’s older. Wiser. And a heck of a lot funnier. But he’s still my little boy. The little boy who still loves school as much as he did on Orientation Day.

Now onto summer… what will we learn together this summer?


Get Outfits They'll LOVE at Zulily

Remembering and Teaching (& Parading)

Would you believe that the FireFamily has never posed together for a picture in front of a fire truck? FireDad and I have one together when I was still (very) pregnant with BigBrother. But since then? Not even three of us at one time have taken a picture in front of a fire truck. We remedied that today before the Memorial Day parade.

The FireFamily

And, yes, the boys got to ride in the fire truck for the parade today. BigBrother rode up front on Firedad’s lap as he sat in the passenger seat. I sat in back with LittleBrother. While BigBrother was more serious about his job as a firefighter, LittleBrother waved his little hand and said “hi” in his tiny little voice (so different from his older brother’s voice) as we passed the people on the sidewalk. They both enjoyed themselves.

BigBrother is Happy


LittleBrother with His Helmet On

They’re still too young to understand, of course. I told BigBrother that we were having a parade because it was Memorial Day. He repeated me and went on to talk about fire trucks. He doesn’t understand the concepts of war and death just yet. He doesn’t know that my good friend’s brother died almost three years ago… mainly because he was just about eight months old at the time. I did tell him, as we sat together during lunch, that we honor Soldiers who aren’t with us anymore on Memorial Day. He just smiled and said, Okay Mom! (When did he start calling me Mom? That’s a post for another day, I suppose.)

We will teach these boys, as I’ve said before, about those who have gone before them. We will teach them the importance of forming your own healthy opinions on issues like peace and war. We will also teach them the importance of respecting the military; those fighting, those fallen, those grieving. FireDad spent eight years in the Army and, if I’m honest, I’m relieved beyond measure that those years are now behind us. I have enough to worry about as it is, don’t I? I know we’ll teach them what we know about each war. We’ll look up the information. We’ll share our emotions and experiences regarding the one(s?) for which we were alive. But, I do think, most importantly, we will teach them those two things: to form their own opinions while maintaining that respect. I think that is the best thing we can do to honor those who have given their lives so that we may continue to teach our children in a way we find best fitting for our family.

Today the FireFamily honors those men and women who have given all.

Overwhelming Parenthood

I’m overwhelmed.

Sometimes the overwhelmed feeling comes from the never-ending pile of laundry. I mean, sure, if we didn’t cloth diaper, I might get two seconds without the thought of, “Oh, I really need to change loads.” But then I’d just end up having to run to the store at 7:30 in the evening (or, worse, morning) because I didn’t realize how many diapers we had left in the house. And, perhaps, if I let my children run naked, the clothing would not pile up so quickly. But BigBrother is in a stage where he doesn’t want to begin his day without being fully dressed. It was already warm this morning and I told him it would be fine to run around in just his underwear and a t-shirt. No go. So, there’s the laundry.

Sometimes the overwhelmed feeling comes from being the wife of a firefighter. In the past week and a half, FireDad’s department has been on three structure fires. All three of those fires were in the middle of the night. While that sounds like it would be better than a midday fire that took him away from whatever we were doing, middle of the night fires create a bigger problem. There’s the worry, of course. But then there’s also a tired FireDad. Trying to keep these two boys from climbing all over a FireDad who has all put passed out on the floor, let alone to be quiet, is an impossible task. This has made it hard to work at times. So, there’s the issue of fire.

Sometimes the overwhelmed feeling comes from these two children. T-ball is in full swing. We actually had two games this week due to a makeup of a previous game that was called off due to rain. And then we went to see Thomas the Train on stage. And then BigBrother is gearing up for the end of school so he has had extra stuff to do in that regard. And LittleBrother is cutting his bottom two eye teeth and isn’t sleeping well. In fact, BigBrother hasn’t been sleeping well either. And if we go outside, they want to be inside. When we’re inside, they want to be outside. And so, there’s the children.

And sometimes it’s everything else in my world. I don’t know if I like my new haircut. I have a cut on my big toe. I’m unmotivated in the kitchen despite having a new menu. It’s too darn hot for my liking. Currently, the neighbors are blaring their bass so loud that I can hear it clear on the other side of my house. My family, like FireDad’s, all want to spend time with the boys and, while that’s great, it’s hard to make time for everyone. Yo Gabba Gabba makes me twitch. Speaking of twitching, my eye has been twitching for about 36 hours now. Today, the electric company didn’t alert us that they were going to be working on the wires and proceeded to fry my laptop’s battery. As such, I’m stuck to the wall. I keep trying to get enough money to buy a new laptop, but things keep happening. So, there’s just about everything else.


And so on and so forth.

And at the same time, I am so overwhelmed with love. I can’t explain why other than the fact that I am keenly aware of how blessed I am… we are… to have everything that we have. I have seen a few of my friends endure horrible things in the past few months. I don’t have answers as to why they are dealing with such horrible things. The loss of a child. The loss of a boyfriend. Loss after loss after loss. And my biggest complaint is about the never-ending laundry? Or enduring the noisiness of my two kids? Or the worry that I knew I would endure when I married a firefighter?

Seems kind of silly.

In light of it all, two of our dear friends who have been trying to have a baby for quite some time announced their happy news today: they’re expecting. As the tears fell, happy ones, my deepest wish and biggest prayer is that they, too, will know the overwhelming experience (maybe minus fire life issues) that we have known. Diaper laundry, noise level and all.

We are sending our best wishes for a safe and uneventful pregnancy to Bethany and George. Congratulations!