Monday, April 4, 2011

Toddled

G started in the toddler room today. He loves it there and he's been spending chunks of time there for about a month with the center's ease-'em-in transition policy so he was awesome this morning, totally unphased. I almost cried.

Not until the end - but when I unpinned our family photo from the baby room bulletin board and put it up in the toddler room, I felt teary. It's the end of an era. That room, and those teachers, they've been caring for my babies forever. I nursed my babes in there. I sat on that floor and soaked in the wisdom of other mothers as they shared their stories. I built my community right there on that farm animal carpet. Some of my very favorite friendships grew out of that room.

And, of course, my kids went from do-nothings to crawlers to walkers, largely in that room. They learned to move by watching the kids just older than them. They learned to self-feed by watching their neighbors in adjacent high chairs. They all learned how to hide behind the crib rails and go in baby jail. They all learned how to smile at themselves at the ballet-barre mirror, hung just a foot or so off the ground.

It was in that room where I'd cradle my first baby when the transition of returning to work felt so rough, and it was in that room where I learned (and re-learned and learned again) how to balance my family with my work. That balance is a fundamental part of my life, and I didn't realize until today just how much of my identity I associate with that safe, warm, nurturing infant room.

It was a shelter for my babies, but it also sheltered me.
Mister man pulled a chair right up to the table, and there, feet a-dangling, he enjoyed his morning yogurt. See ya later, school high chairs. (Don't get any ideas about home.)

But G has moved on up. So that's that. He was a toddler in action but now he's a toddler in name. Heart-wrenching, a little. But also, I feel pride. And isn't it silly that we are presumptuous enough to take pride in their simple growth? In breathing in and out long enough to move from one classroom to the next? But we do, and I did, and he's a toddler.

His baby blanket, retired. Dude sleeps on a cot now, and needs more expansive accommodations.

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An invitation two ways:

-If you enjoy my blog (and since you're here, may I presume that you do?), would you consider 'liking' it on Facebook?
-If you already landed here via my personal Facebook page, would you follow the link above and like the blog's page? I'm going to discontinue the syndication feed on my personal page at the end of this week, but you can already find it on the FB blog page.

This blog's Facebook page is new and not very developed yet, but I have a lot of ideas for continuing the conversations that begin in the comments here in greater depth over there. I'd love to have you join us.

Muchas gracias, friends.

(This message will self-destruct at the end of the week.)
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