Didn't we just bring her home? Wasn't she just a newborn and completely dependent on us for everything? Weren't we just spending our days gazing at her and drinking in her newness?
She was so perfect in her imperfectness (still is btw).
Wasn't it yesterday that she was 5 months old and this was the skill we worked on with everything we both had in us?
Wasn't she just Alyssa's age? (26 months for those not paying attention here) I swear I just took this photo last week....sigh
Weren't we just dropping her off for her first day of preschool last year? Tears of sadness, tears of joy, bursting with pride and crushed by the first taste of having to let go...
In true Natalie fashion she did FANTASTIC at school right from the start. Walked right in and claimed this next milestone as hers.
Three came and went in a whirlwind of school and tantrums. Then came this summer. My "baby" came back from whatever three year old crabby shack she was in. The kisses...sigh the "yuh yoo's"...double sigh. She grew a TON! She is potty training and talking and jumping and running and playing WITH people. She grew up....what the heck?!
Every once in awhile I just kind of catch the real Natalie. Not attached to any memories or emotions but the Natalie that strangers see. It is fleeting and usually at times that I am not expecting any kind of revelation at all. This time it was walking hand in hand from the hair salon. (more on that crock of fun in a minute) I looked down and for that millisecond she was just a kid walking along. A KID PEOPLE! When did that happen?! Ok, back to the haircut. Those who know us know that Natalie has sensory issues with her head. She HATES having her hair done which is why it is always just in one or two little pony tails. Our friend's daughter Mary affectionately calls the do "Natalie hair" go ahead....aaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!
So, like I was saying, she hates her head messed with so I have always just cut it at home in the bathtub. No fuss, quick and done! Well, after two of these cuts I decided that she needed a real one before school started. I could sit here and write out all the super fun sensory details of THAT experience or I could just give you a little taste for yourself.....
Note to self: Next time take her with wet hair and threaten the lady within an inch of her life if she squirts that damn water bottle at my child. Wouldn't think that would be a big deal.....live and learn.
That brings us to the first day of school this year. Seriously!?!?! When the heck did she get so old? She hopped right out, put on her backpack and walked all the way to her classroom.
Having been a teacher I already LOVE the first day of school. I love the smells, the excitement of a year yet to happen, the anticipation of seeing friends and teachers....ahhh, I just love it all.
Add in a daddy holding his little girl's hand as she walks to her classroom and it makes me freaking ovulate. (oh yes, I said it, that just happened)
She went right in, pottied for me then went right to the morning work table and got to work on puzzles. WITHOUT BEING TOLD! The other children who are new to her room this year were running around and playing but MY big girl got right to work. Maybe she isn't just like me. hehe
She never ceases to amaze me.
Four years....I can hardly wrap my brain around the fact that she will be in kindergarten in a year. She has changed sooo much since the first day of school last year and I can't WAIT to see how much she will shine this year.
I look back to the day she was born. To the fear and tears. I remember thinking "life will never be the same"....I couldn't have been more right. :) She was so what we needed and we didn't even know it. She is teaching me how to parent, how to advocate, how to educate, how to accept things that are uncomfortable, how to see past someone's differences so that I can enjoy the person. She is teaching me what it means to love unconditionally. She is teaching me.....