Before You’re a Big Kid (A Letter to My Last Baby)

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Dear little one,

I’ll be honest, I was really looking forward to your final year of preschool. This was supposed to be a transition year for you between preschool and Kindergarten. Your final year before “big kid” school. And honestly, I was looking forward to having some more time to myself. Running a business from home with you running around is not an easy task.

And then COVID hit and this last year of preschool is looking unlikely for you. And I’m sorry and sad about that for so many different reasons. Some selfish, see above and time to myself, and some sad, as I’ve seen how much you’ve grown in preschool over the last two years and what a wonderful experience it has been.

But sweet child, I’ve come to realize something over the last few weeks with all the talk about school and the back and forth of what that may look like.

I’ve realized that despite what we both may be missing during this upcoming school year, we’re actually gaining something much bigger.

We’re gaining some more precious time together before you’re a big kid. 

You see, I’ve forgotten what a magical age four can be. Maybe I didn’t appreciate it with your sister because she was the firstborn and motherhood was so new to me. Everything was unchartered territory and I always felt like we were rushing to get to the next stage. (Cue the mom guilt.)

Among the tears, boredom, and the sibling fights during these last few months, I’ve discovered something I had forgotten, or maybe never even realized, about age four.

It’s kind of a magical age.

Maybe it’s because it is that sweet spot where you’ve (finally) moved out of the threenager stage, but you’re not quite big kid status. You’re so much more independent than you were a year ago, but you still need me and aren’t afraid to tell me so.

Maybe it’s because you’re my last baby that I’m able to appreciate these things differently.

Maybe if we can find a silver lining in this whole pandemic, it’s that we get to have another year at home together.

Before the majority of your time is spent at school.

Before you’re rushing off to play with your friends or get to an activity.

Before you want to read by yourself at bedtime and don’t want to hold my hand in public.

Before the snuggles are scarce and the hugs are quick.

Before you’re a big kid.

And not that age five means suddenly everything changes. It doesn’t. But the sweet moments are more fleeting and crammed in between school hours and homework and other things that big kids do.

Maybe this next year at home is exactly what we need before you, my baby, become a big kid.

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Jody and her family made the change from big city life in Chicago to the suburbs of Charleston and couldn't be happier! With an undergraduate degree from Elon University, and a Masters in Counseling from DePaul University, Jody's career path took a different turn when given the opportunity to take over ownership of Charleston Moms. This new adventure has left Jody with so much excitement for continuing the great work that CM has already started, and also very little free time as any business owner knows! In between balancing the responsibilities of being a WAHM, Jody enjoys spending time/keeping up with her two young daughters, date nights with her husband Rob, practicing yoga, exploring Charleston, and indulging in some retail therapy.