This is one of those posts that has been whirling around in my brain at 3:00 am and that I haven't been able to put down quite the way I want to. Right now, you're reading my third and final (fingers crossed) attempt.
Even though Lily is almost five, I still think of her as my baby girl. Ella, by virtue of being my first, has just always seemed so big to me. That and she was born older and wiser than her years. But Lily, she's been my baby girl from the begining. She still even looks a bit like her baby self - with big pink cheeks and chubby fingers, even though she's stretching out in height.
It ocurred to me about a month ago that she really will be heading off to kindergarten in the fall, and it just doesn't seem possible. She can't be old enough to go. I must have looked dumbfounded in the hall at school when one of the teachers asked if Lily would be starting school in the fall. My jaw literally dropped as the realization hit. This spring we'll be going through kindergarten round-up, and next fall she'll be off to school all day every day.
Realizing this made me a little weepy. Lily has always been my little buddy, my grocery store and errands pal. I spend more one-on-one time with her than I do Ella just because of her schedule. We have an hour after Ella goes to school in the morning and an hour before Ella gets home in the afternoon. That's my time with Lily, and in August it will be gone.
At the same time I'm being weepy, I'm also realizing that Lily really isn't a baby - she's quite the big girl now. She has her own little life away from me at school, and today she had her first after-school playdate at a friend's house. Granted, I had to pick her up early because she suddenly got very sad and missed me, but still, it was a big step for both of us.
So I need to let go of the baby and recognize the big girl who has replaced her. As soon as she wakes up from her nap.