Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Crying in Target

Yesterday was our first real snow of the season. It arrived to mixed reviews according to my Facebook, but in my house it has been a welcome addition. Well, it did lead to some traffic woes yesterday (Come on, folks, we live in Ohio. We get snow EVERY YEAR.), but overall I am loving the feel of a winter wonderland. The ground is white, the trees are sparkling, Starbucks has red cups... It doesn't get much better.

And thanks to my friend Snow, I became stupid brave determined enough to head out for some shopping with Roo this morning. We actually had a few errands that we needed to run, but we ended up in Target, and I decided to peruse the Christmas decorations while I was there. And then I remembered that it will soon be time for our Elf to come (We don't do the "real" Elf on the Shelf, but we have a little gingerbread man that I use as our elf, and we have a beautiful advent calendar where he leaves a little treat--or a clue about where to find a treat--each day.), and it seemed like a good time to start gathering trinkets for him to pass along to our children. So I headed to the stocking stuffers.

And that is when it hit me.

I looked at rows of Hello, Kitty and Dora the Explorer and even Disney princess toys... and realized that my little girl isn't so little any more. We may have kept her away from many of the "teenagery" things I see little girls getting into these days, and she has developed a sudden and unexpected love of Sofia the first... but she is growing up. Princess wands and tiaras aren't her thing any more. A Dora headband is more likely to elicit an eye roll than a smile. For goodness sake, the girl doesn't even believe in Santa any more--she's going to know the elf isn't real!

And then I cried in Target. Just a little. Just a tear or two. I love my girl. I love her age, the conversations we can have, the concepts she grasps that she couldn't just a few years ago. I love the poems that she writes, I love that she finds and corrects grammar mistakes on magazines and worksheets that she receives. But I wish I would have cherished the princess phase a little more. I wish I could hold onto the magic of toddlerhood and the preschool years. Life with an 8-year-old is tons of fun, and in some ways I am much better with this age than the little ones... but already it is going much too fast.

My kids are growing up. Somebody hit the brakes, would you? This is flying by.

Then I looked down and saw that Roo's nose was runny and tried to wipe it off. "Magic of toddlerhood" my foot. 3-year-olds can be a real pain--and they can scream bloody murder at the site of a simple tissue. Who would miss this??? Not me. Nope, definitely not. Excuse me while I wipe my eyes... allergies, you know...

Maybe I should just avoid Target for a while.

Like that's going to happen.


Becca said...

Bittersweet. And it really is going way too fast for us, too. All those things that would make me teary-eyed, thinking about how wonderous my child would think them (first time trick-or-treating, or meeting Santa at the mall for the first time, or watching her eyes light up at a parade), are sure to make me teary-eyed again when I realize they no longer hold that magic. We're not there yet, but it'll come...

CMSavage6 said...

I was just thinking about that the other day too. I was helping out a friend with three under 5 along with my daughter and I was worn out! I did the same thing with almost the same age spread on my own 8 years ago. I'm not sure how I survived. It does go too fast. It's certainly nice to have the kids be older but I miss some of those moments too.