by Jennifer on May 8, 2012

The dull roar in the cafeteria gets quiet as the children file into the room, climbing up the risers and jostling each other into their proper position.  I spy Little Boy K off to the left as he makes his way to the top row and wave my hand in the air so he knows I’m here.  He gives me a big toothless grin and waves both arms before turning his attention back to his friends.

Seeing him up there like that recalls the image of him at his preschool graduation nearly a year ago.  I mentally compare that picture to the one in front of me.  He is much taller and fuller.  He has a lot less teeth.  Definitely a “boy” now; not even sure I can call him a “little boy”.

The music erupts and the children start to sing.

My God, he is so big…

Lost in the singing, K swings his hips to the music and I watch as he joyfully goes through the hand motions that accompany the words.  He is singing about his “big-big dreams”.

All I can think about is how big-big he is getting.

It seems that before I’ve really had a chance to start the day, it’s nearly time for bed again.

And another day is crossed off the calendar, then another, and then a week is gone.

Before I know it, it’s time to flip the calendar to next month.

Another whole year of their lives has passed and the moments have slipped through my fingers like sand in the sandbox.

It’s field day at the school and I brush the sweat from my forehead as I reach for my water bottle.   I help one little girl adjust her potato sack and gaze up to see her smile, bright enough to light up the whole field.  The kids shout to each other, cheering each other on, and their anticipation charges the air around us as the bag-clad kindergarteners take their places at the starting line.

“On your mark.”

“Get set.”

I play with them a little and take an exaggerated pause and then a giant inhale.


The children leap forward, hopping and stumbling in the tangled sacks.  Their heads swivel left and right as their classmates cheer them on.

Their faces turn red with exertion and their breathing quickens as they reach the halfway point.

Some of them begin to tire out while others keep their eyes on the finish line with single-minded focus, rushing, faster and faster, to reach the end and the waiting group of clapping friends.

I feel the urge to reach out and grab K, to slow him down, to tell him the point of the race isn’t at the finish line, that he won’t find the “win” there.

I want to tell him to feel the way his feet stick to the inside of the sack and how the grass that has accumulated at the bottom itches at his ankles, to breathe in the sunshine and taste the air, to slow down and savor the swell inside that comes from being cheered on by his friends whom he misses when he is away from them even for just a few hours at night.

I want to reach out and grab him, to hold onto him, just the way he is right now, a toothless, curly-haired ball of boy, to steal just a few seconds out of this day.

He bounds toward the finish line where his friends are waiting.  He glances back at me over his shoulder and smiles as I clap for him before he turns around and runs off…on to the next activity.  With empty arms, I watch him get smaller as his body recedes into the distance of the schoolyard.

Slow him down?  Not even a Mommy can do that…


Linking up with the wonderful folks over at Yeah Write #55 who ruin their eyesight every week by reading until they collapse and take time out of their very busy days to let you know that someone is listening.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Christine May 8, 2012 at 7:48 am

I am heading to a second grade music program today…having similar feelings.
Christine recently posted..Thoughts on Mother’s DayMy Profile

Ladygoogoogaga May 8, 2012 at 8:17 am

There have been days when I wished my 6 year old was ready for college…….before I know it – he will be gone and I will be beyond devastated…It really does go quick!!

Melissa Cohen May 8, 2012 at 8:43 am

Oh, I know that feeling… I watched my little kindergarten boy rush off into school this morning and wanted to cry because it’s SO fast! It was yesterday that he was clinging to my legs and begging to go home…
Melissa Cohen recently posted..Will it ever end?My Profile

kristin May 8, 2012 at 10:27 am

My little one is only 9 months old but I can already relate to this so much!!
kristin recently posted..Slow and Fast. Good and Better.My Profile

tara pohlkotte May 8, 2012 at 11:09 am

this is it. all of it. i don’t want to keep him just to keep him. i just want him to remember every detail, because i see how fast it all goes. wonderful words.
tara pohlkotte recently posted..Birthing WarrioressMy Profile

Ado May 8, 2012 at 11:27 am

It’s so hard – and yet so gratifying – to actually see them getting bigger and moving forward. Sometimes I can see my children have grown even from only one night of sleeping – they wake up, bigger. It scares me. And it delights me. Ah motherhood…!
Ado recently posted..The Psychopath Test For MomsMy Profile

Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms May 8, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Big-big. I have my last one on the edge of this, and it rips my heart wide open with pride, with joy, and with a little sadness. Babies aren’t babies for long. I agree with Ado, Ah Motherhood! Erin
Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms recently posted..May Bloggers Dance: CruisingMy Profile

Mayor Gia May 8, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Hehe very cute. Love the picture.
Mayor Gia recently posted..Food Hangover: UGGGGHHHHHHHMy Profile

heidi May 8, 2012 at 5:37 pm

I loved this so much. The simplicity and the sweetness of the day, that moment, you and your little/big boy. I want to slow it all down, too.
heidi recently posted..small celebrationsMy Profile

Delilah May 8, 2012 at 11:42 pm

Oh I know that feeling. It gets stronger the older mine get. If they only knew how hard it is for a mama to let go. I need a freeze button!
Delilah recently posted..So What?My Profile

Shiftless Mommie May 8, 2012 at 11:45 pm

I’m away from my girls tonight and this post just made my heart ache, although in a good way.
Shiftless Mommie recently posted..Motherbored.My Profile

jamie May 9, 2012 at 3:37 am

Children, they grow in a blink of an eye, don’t they? :)
jamie recently posted..Why People Settle For Less?My Profile

Katie May 9, 2012 at 9:23 am

How completely sweet. I remember field days, and while they weren’t always a favorite to this geek, you brought back some sweet memories. :)
Katie recently posted..I Was ThereMy Profile

Jill, Tales of a Failed Crunchy Mom May 9, 2012 at 9:26 am

Love this, so well written, and you really captured those bittersweet moments perfectly. My last baby is entering the realm of big kid so I can totally relate. (We keep telling her stop growing. Hasn’t worked so far.)
Jill, Tales of a Failed Crunchy Mom recently posted..10 Easy Steps To A Successful RelationshipMy Profile

Stephanie May 9, 2012 at 10:42 am

Happy-sad post…growing up is inevitable, but he’ll always be your baby.
Stephanie recently posted..Fanning the FlamesMy Profile

Jessica May 9, 2012 at 3:05 pm

There is no slowing these kids down. It seems the more we try, the faster they grow.
Jessica recently posted..A Failed AttemptMy Profile

Missy | The Literal Mom May 9, 2012 at 4:19 pm

I totally need to do yeah, write. And I love this – it totally embodies “the days are long but the years are short.”
Missy | The Literal Mom recently posted..No GuaranteeMy Profile

Adrienne May 9, 2012 at 4:19 pm

What a sweet moment. I loved the way you described the “real” win. I wish we could freeze them and stop time from stealing them away from us.
Adrienne recently posted..By Grace Alone.My Profile

WilyGuy May 9, 2012 at 5:50 pm

As my eight year old loses teeth and my 18 year old gets set to graduate, the calendar appears more like a picture flip book. Great post.

WilyGuy recently posted..The Lesson of the Reef TankMy Profile

Jay- The Dude of the House May 9, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Since I only have a 2.5 year old, this seems so far away. Then again, it feels like he was born a couple weeks ago.

Well written.
Jay- The Dude of the House recently posted..We Are All Wild ThingsMy Profile

Robbie May 9, 2012 at 10:15 pm

love this and I completely relate. i went to stinkbugs Pre-k program today and then Einstein’s 5th grade one. It zooms by.

I love your description of Yeah Write!
Robbie recently posted..How Monday Kicked My…..My Profile

Michelle Longo May 10, 2012 at 6:47 am

Tears in my eyes as I think of my own boy, the one I can also barely call “little” anymore. Beautifully written. Loved it.
Michelle Longo recently posted..Blankie.My Profile

Jackie May 10, 2012 at 3:32 pm

My older daughter and I do this dance every morning. She asks, “Are you sad that i’m getting older” giggling as she speaks. I respond, “Can’t you be four forever?” as the laughter overtakes the room. “No mommy, I’m growing a little bigger every day!” Ugh!
Jackie recently posted..Tiger Mom in TrainingMy Profile

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: