We tried to squeeze the last few drops out of summer, before a certain young man started second grade earlier in the week, when I was promptly informed that “second graders don’t have their parents walk them up to their classrooms on the first day, mom.”
Okay, big guy, we’ll make sure not to embarrass you.
So, we didn’t greet second grade with a lot of fanfare this year. It was nothing like entering kindergarten or even first grade. I barely was able to get a second grade photo out of him in his new school shoes and backpack. He seemed pretty nonchalant about the whole concept of starting a new school year, so we all kept it low key.
I’m prepping for a very small birthday party in the park for the baby, who turns ONE on Wednesday. The party will be nothing like the big blowouts we held for his brothers’ first birthdays. We have a long tradition in our family of celebrating first birthdays with huge, obnoxious affairs (I’m talking pony rides, okay?) because I happen to have a mom who loves to throw a party. Lucky for me, I usually defer to her and let her take the whole thing over.
This year there’s no time, or energy to plan anything that elaborate. We’ll have some food, we’ll have some cake and we’ll blow out a candle to celebrate our baby’s first year. And even though he’s officially a toddler now, I’m certain I’ll call him “the baby” until he’s 42. Because he is and will always be “the baby,” even when he has facial hair and an Adam’s apple.
So bye bye summer, hello new memories and milestones, new school shoes and new knowledge. Bye bye babyhood. I’m having a really tough time with that one. Probably because I know it’s the end of an era. I’m packing away the swaddling blankets and the tiny 0-3 month gowns, the baby rattles and the burp cloths and all the other remnants of infancy, knowing there probably won’t be another newborn baby in this house to use them.
But I know they’ll get worn and loved by other babies in other homes who will grow into them and out of them, just like mine once did. Because that’s just what babies do. They grow. And soon, they’re second graders telling you they don’t want you to walk them up to their classroom anymore.
And one day, they’re grown men putting the same 0-3 month gowns on their babies that they wore as babies themselves.