Here are a few things I do know:
It suddenly occurred to me that I no longer have to bathe P. (outside of washing her hair and sometimes not even that). And the fall boots we bought for her today look impossibly huge. As much as she still loves cuddles and asks every night to sleep in our bed, my little P. is not so little anymore.Kindergarten is not months but days away.
In one day, we took the straps off Bo's Tripp Trapp and put away all the pacifiers. Big boy's delighted not to be sitting on the straps we weren't using anyway and surprisingly sanguine about his beloved uh-oh, though every so often he asks to be picked up so he can recheck the spot where they used to live.
We hardly crossed off any of the things on my summer bucket list, which was all in my head anyway because I knew I'd get stressed out by a half-done to-do list hanging on the fridge. Now I'm only half freaked out because there was no formal list but I can't figure out if we just did other fun things instead of the fun things I thought we'd do.
Maybe we were just too busy?
Here's something else I know:
This summer was a little different from other summers. P.'s first day of school is coming at me like a wrecking ball and no matter how hard I remind myself that all of the change that will come with it is a good thing I still feel like things need to slow down.
Wasn't it just yesterday that she and I spent every lazy morning meandering to the playground and back or puttering around the back yard? Or reading endless books when the weather was bad - and sometimes after we'd go out anyway just for the air. And wasn't it just before that we were doing weekly E.I. on the living room floor with Tracey to catch P. up to her non-preemie peers?
Before that it was just us laying skin to skin in the NICU and then home, trying to figure out how we fit together as a breastfeeding pair. I can still remember balancing her four pound body on my right shoulder, steadying her with my hand so I could use the bathroom in the middle of the night. Pacing the bedroom floor with her in my arms singing songs because she didn't yet know nighttime is for sleeping.
Now she's tricky to carry for anything more than a couple of minutes, not because she's heavy but because she's all arms and legs.
Does she always walk on that wall, the mister asked me tonight. Yes, I said, and then I realized I was going to cry. Because she did always walk on that wall but the routes we'll take from here on won't always include it. Might hardly include it. Our journey will be on some new path and that's okay, or so I keep reminding myself.
It's not summer I'm mourning, I figured out today. It's everything. The end of the beginning. School looms large and it looms long, too. P. and I will never exactly have that same kind of freedom we had during our first two years together. There will be other good but not the same good. And that's turning out to be pretty hard sometimes.
P.S. - Costco is pretty much the best kid date ever. For four bucks I can get two drinks (lemonade for them and Diet Pepsi for me) and a big slice of cheese pizza cut in half. Since we buy fruit on every trip, the pizza gets eaten with raspberries or these amazing tiny table grapes Costco sometimes has.