Kindergarten and a Vegetable Garden

It’s been too long since I blogged, partly because of the old excuse of being busy, and partly because I’ve been content to just observe. We had birthdays in April, so Big Sister is now 5 and Mr. and Miss Twin are 3. I remember that Big Sister changed exponentially between 3 and 3 ½. There’s a Moment in my memory of watching her swim at age 3 ½, and realizing that there was no more baby or toddler left in her. Her chubby legs had turned muscular, her cute baby swimsuit had given way to a functional Speedo, and her ponytail looked more athletic than Trixie-style. I’ve been curious to find out if the twins will change so dramatically too. With two of them, the caveman stage is accentuated and slower to leave our house entirely, but every week, there are more Moments to prove the twins are on their way. Like when Miss Twin went in her own bathroom stall at the YMCA and decreed, “I do it myself!” And she did. Or when Mr. Twin quietly put on his pants all by himself and showed up ready to go, instead of melting down for any of 101 unknown reasons.

The GeoTrio with the geocache Big Sister found!

We no longer have a toddler and two babies here, or even a preschooler and two toddlers. Big Sister graduated from preschool and is off to all-day, every-day kindergarten in the fall, and the twins will move up to her former preschool. Since our life will be so dramatically different in three short months, I plan to have as much spontaneous fun as possible this summer with my Trio of independent, strong-willed, adventurous kids. We have this glorious Moment when independence meets still wanting to hang out with Mom, and I know that’ll change all too soon. Summer has just started, and we’re already having a blast! We’ve taken up geocaching (http://www.geocaching.com), which is proving how far we’ve come because the entire tribe can tromp through the woods without a stroller. After 5 years of babyhood in our house, which required meticulous planning and packing before we went anywhere, this new ability to be spontaneous with big kids who can walk, talk, and wait 5 minutes for a meal has me feeling like the whole world has opened up and demands to be explored!

We also planted our first garden and were all excited to harvest our first radish and lettuce yesterday. The difference between the tiny seeds we planted and the now perfectly red radish with gorgeous green leaves got me thinking. I did nothing to make it grow except provide food and the right environment. Once those were given, that little seed had the inherent ability within itself to change when I wasn’t even looking. Maybe that’s true for kids too. I marvel at the big kids in my house and wonder how they got here. Life has been more chaos than planned in the past three years, yet somehow three independent, confident people have emerged from the pandemonium. Some days, it felt like my parenting only consisted of feeding them and keeping them from setting the house on fire, yet apparently they were growing even then.

If it feels like you’re running on a hamster wheel with your kids, doing and saying the same things every day, take heart that progress is being made under the dirt, just like our radish. All of a sudden, you’ll see a bit of maturity poking through, and you’ll know that your little radish is ready to venture into bigger gardens. As I’m looking at kindergarten, I acknowledge that change can be bittersweet, but then I sit down with my iced mocha topped with whipped cream during a Moment when no one needs me, and remember that after three years of chaos, THAT’S pure sweetness! 🙂

Post a comment about a Moment when you noticed a big change in your child(ren). Did you do something to make it happen or did it happen by itself?