And just like that, my little boy is off to his first day of preschool.
Off to learn and grow and become more of who he will be in life. Off to, step-by-step, become a more separate individual, someone apart from me and his dad. This is all good, I know...but it's a bittersweet breaking away that makes me stop and say, "Hey wait...that's my boy, getting so big!" When you carry someone in your body and birth them and watch them grow from a helpless baby who can do nothing to a little person who can talk, reason, remember, imagine, connect, and play it's an amazing step to send them out into the world - albeit a safe, small preschool world. I already have a lump in my throat just thinking of what the first day of kindergarten will be like.
I'm sure I'll enjoy my 3 hours, two days a week spending some one-on-one time with Hazel (much deserved on her part!), but I can't help but miss my sweet boy already. It's an exciting and new beginning that I'm grateful for for him to learn and meet people, and to digest what it is to be a part of a group, listen to a teacher, and learn to play with his peers. It's also an ending to our smaller world filled with just his family and close friends. It is a wonderful thing to learn from others, to learn to trust his neighbors, and to learn more about the world around him near and far...and we're blessed to give him this opportunity.
I'm told that a group of three-year-olds begin their preschool year as a pack of wild animals, and that when they leave for the summer they're a completely different group...more like a pack of tamed animals perhaps. A friend of mine's mom has lived by the philosophy that "every stage gets better," when it comes to kids and that's something I've been trying to stay rooted in, instead of focusing too much on what has been or what is "lost." Going off to preschool is a big first step though, among many steps to come, so it's hard to not be nostalgic for this ending. An ending of his baby-hood; the beginning of the ending of his "wild animal," unschooled-ness. Look at those name-tags, it's killing me!
I look forward to the confidence he'll gain in is own self, in meeting people, in listening to directions, in accomplishing tasks that may seem simple to us but are fundamental in cultivating a little person's identity in life. And so begins this year of discovery, socialization, and wonder.
Go get 'em, Soy Boy...you're a stud and a stand-up guy!
Friday, September 6, 2013
And just like that, my little boy is off to his first day of preschool.
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Sawyer was overdue for a haircut and we couldn't avoid it any longer! We stayed strong and didn't relent until all the hair was buzzed off for a perfect summer 'do. It's always a bit sad to cut your little boy's hair because he inevitably ends up looking so much older, but just looking at the boy now I feel less sweaty. It HAD to go!
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Since I've been so bad at keeping a baby book, I've tried to write an occasional letter to Sawyer to keep for him to read some day. Here's my letter for his three-year birthday that happened over the weekend.
My Sweet Sawyer,
Today you are three! I can't believe how fast you have grown from a helpless baby into a little boy who does and says and knows so much. I'm so proud of you every day and I can't imagine our life without you in it. I remember when you were born and I wondered what kind of person you would be...who you would become. It's amazing that some of that is already revealed to us in such a small person. Here are some things I know about you that I hope you'll continue to grow into and hold onto in your life.
You are empathetic. You have such an empathy for people, and that's not something a lot of three-year-olds possess. Even when you were a baby you seemed to sense when someone was sad or just not right...and your expressions gave away your emotions. I think kids getting scolded or others being sad or worried breaks your heart more than it does anyone else in a given situation. You're a sensitive soul and I don't want you to lose that awareness of people's feelings. In life you will need to balance your care for others with care for yourself and your own feelings, and I'll do my best to help you learn how and when to do that.
You are active. I believe you are an extremely calm, manageable boy, and I thank my lucky stars every day for that...you've made parenting seem easy to me. What's great though is when you have the opportunity to play and be free, you relish in it. To see your toddler arms and legs move and go brings me such joy! Not every child is blessed with physical strength and capability, so I want you to not take movement and play for granted. I hope you'll continue to take care of your body by using it as much as you can.
You are handsome. Now I know every mom thinks her children are the cutest, but really, you ARE! Sometimes I am struck by what a charmer you can be...your big green eyes and your small, perfect chin make me melt. To me you are physically perfect in every way. Remember though, that what makes you the most handsome is your kindness and love. I've met many attractive people who were jerks and they very quickly lose their appeal. For all I know, you'll end up turning into an awkward, nerdy teenager who is below-average looking, but I doubt it. Don't ever think you are better than anyone or more special because of your looks because that is not true.
You are silly. I love when you laugh and don't hold anything back. I can't think of many things that are better than tickling a little boy who is just beside himself with laughter! I love when you do a funny dance or make a funny face and look up at me or your dad with a look that says you know what you're doing is hilarious. I know - to a certain extent - that the coming years will see a loss of your inhibitions as you develop an awareness of yourself that will inevitably be influenced by your peers, but I hope you will practice feeling free to be silly and uninhibited. Experiencing joy without being self-conscious is priceless and I would think nearly impossible to get back once lost.
Oh Sawy, I'm so hopeful for your future! I'm excited to see the boy, teenager, and young man you will become in the years that will pass all too quickly. I pray that I will do my best to teach, guide, and encourage you in life...through both joys and adversity...so that when you leave the comfort and shelter of our home you will trust who you are and thrive! I think that's the best gift I can give you in life.
And even though I know that it will just get better and better to know you more fully, it breaks my heart that you are no longer two. Time has gone too fast and I can't stand that it doesn't stop sometimes. I just want to pause you where you are right now, but I know that won't work.
When I was growing up, my parents had a picture on their wall with a mom rocking her baby with this poem. It never mattered much to me, but now its words ring truer than ever to me.
"Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow.
For babies grow up, we've learned to our sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs and dust go to sleep,
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep."
I love you so much,
Monday, December 5, 2011
In my lack of consistent blogging I realize that I have yet to really discuss the up-and-coming arrival of Sawyer's first Ondrey cousin! My brother Jakob and his wife Jessica are expecting a bundle of joy around the first week of January and we're all so excited to meet the little guy!
Like I said, these days things between me and my sewing machine have been cold at best. However, I had to make something for the sweet child, so I put together this little blanket with two different fabrics on either side and some binding in a third. A nice simple boy blanket for a boy who is sure to be a class act!
Can't wait to meet you, Baby O!
Thursday, August 25, 2011
As of a couple months ago, we've got a walker! Our boy was in no rush to get on his two feet, but he's making up for lost time and is all over the place these days. During one of his first, longer jaunts a couple months ago, this happened.
Poor kid! I'm not one for parading your children's embarrassing videos online for the world to see, but I felt like this was too funny to keep to myself. After a few tears, he was right back up, walking, and trying to find and play with the furry offender.
Marshall is my brother and sister-in-law's puppy and he and Sawyer are becoming fast friends, despite their run-ins. Sweet little guy!
Thursday, August 11, 2011
I'm not a huge fan of ice cream. I mean, I'll certainly enjoy a scoop if one is offered to me, but I don't stock it in my freezer. Don't get me wrong, I've got my vices when it comes to food, but ice cream just isn't one of them. I don't crave it. I don't bask in it's goodness.
Last week I realized that because of my disinterest though, I've unintentionally kept my sweet child from exploring his potential love-affair with it. Oops! My mom was in town and was trying to think of a date she could go on with the little guy and suggested Dairy Queen, so I encouraged the trip. Evidently he was a fan, so TK and I went again with him this past weekend.
Sawyer got a twist and I got vanilla with sprinkles. I AM a huge fan of rainbow sprinkles. Huge fan. I shared and let him take a handful. Chicago has been brutal this summer, so it was nice to actually get outside and enjoy a tolerable temperature!
Monday, August 8, 2011
When I imagined Sawy Boy as a toddler, I envisioned locks of hair, wildly flying with the wind and falling in a carefree, just-so manner. Picture Lord of the Flies.
Not the case. For better or worse, the poor kid has been cursed with the genes of his parents, both of which have boring, straight, lifeless hair. In my efforts to avoid a haircut to see if this is "just a stage," I fear I've allowed to grow what's turning out to be an unfortunate mullet.
Against my hopes, we had to break down and just cut it. I mourn the day because I thought we wouldn't cut his hair until it was longer, but you've got to know when you're beat. I even put a bobby-pin in it pre-haircut since
it was getting in his way and he couldn't see I wanted to know what it felt like to put a barrette in your baby's hair.
TK refused to pay someone any money for something he believed he could do. And he was right... we put a video on the computer, and daddy got to work, snipping and pruning my little baby's precious locks.
Sweet little love! A big-boy haircut was the nail in the coffin that my boy is really growing up before my eyes. He's become so independent, capable, and lively over the last couple months, and now he's starting to look the part of a legitimate toddler.
Monday, July 25, 2011
We have an annual group-camping tradition with some friends from college in which we joyfully participate each summer. We went last summer when Sawyer was 4 months old, and needless to say, this year was a little easier!
Like his mom and dad, he's a sucker for the woods and wide open spaces. He also loved running around in the tent like a maniac!
A dose of weekend camping in Wisconsin does the body good! Our campsite population grows every year with more kiddos (mostly of the female persuasion), and we all enjoy our fellowship in the woods relaxing and being together.
While a serene, adult-only camping trip definitely has its merits, it is a wonder to behold children outdoors, exploring new things and breaking free from the confines of every-day routine.
Bugs, games, frogs, s'mores, and campfires make life grand. Add in a remote controlled fart machine and they really enjoy themselves!
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
All I wanted to do on Memorial Day was to plop my lawn chair next to a good old-fashioned kiddie pool and sit outside all the live-long day...and I got what my little heart wanted!
Sawyer's a water-boy at heart and pretty much jumped into the ice-cold water and chilled for two hours straight.
He also ate a decent amount of soggy cracker crumbs...yuuum!
Oh, a boy in summer is a wonderful sight to behold! I think the next three months are going to be a glorious thing...
Friday, May 27, 2011
Spring is finally rearing it's pretty little face around here...if I'm not mistaken, this "spring" was the wettest and grayest in Chicago history. TOTALLY LAME! We've been stuck inside for way too long and now that the weather's attempting to make a turn, the neighborhood playground has been calling our name.
My boy is all about swings and underdogs, and I like to sing him this song my mom used to sing to me, which I've since come to learn is a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson.
How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!
Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside—
Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown—
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!
Monday, May 9, 2011
This is Elin. Isn't she a pretty girl?
Bald is beautiful! Her mama, Lauren, and I are friends from college and spent the better part of last Friday afternoon corralling these two rug rats. Sawyer's looking through my wallet for some money no doubt...kids these days!
Before we got together, Sawy Boy and I hung out and played in the ample green space outside their condo on the lake. We occasionally shared our blanket and space with an assortment of dogs who were nearby at the adjacent dog park.
He's learning to appreciate dogs. They tend to bother him a little.