The Journey Downstairs

On Friday I dropped Will off at daycare a toddler. This morning, he walked in a little man.

The upstairs of the building is reserved for newborns and kids under 3. The downstairs is for the “big kids.” Preschool. For a few months now I’ve noticed Will is the oldest and biggest kid upstairs. And, not to brag (OK, specifically to brag), but he’s also so advanced. He’s just so fucking smart. His vocabulary, the way he grasps concepts, the way he interacts with people. I’d watch him with the younger kids and they just seemed like they were on two different planes.

So they decided to move him in with the big kids today. Even though the move was technically downstairs, it felt like he was being called up to the major leagues.

He’s growing up so damn fast. And as old as he looked next to the younger kids upstairs, he looked like such a baby amongst the older kids. He’s now the youngest one in his class, a small fish in a big pond. But thankfully he seems to love it. Will has always gravitated towards older kids, so I have no doubt he’ll weave himself right into the fabric of downstairs life.

I made fun of MJ over the weekend because she got a little emotional about the move. Yet there I was this morning, trying not to look like I was choked up as my preschooler barely gave me a kiss goodbye so he could go off and play with the big kids.

But it wasn’t just Will brushing by me. It’s the inexorable march of time that never ceases to stun parents. It’s blinking an eye and watching your newborn take his first steps. It’s turning your head for just a split second, and when you glance back you see a full-fledged toddler who’s starting preschool. Sometimes I’m afraid to take my eyes off him for fear that when I look back I’ll be watching him head off to college.

I’m learning that being a parent not only means celebrating each milestone, but also lamenting them a tiny bit.

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8 thoughts on “The Journey Downstairs

  1. Couldn’t agree with you more. My boy is just a year younger than yours, but I’m already seeing the progress he has made over the kids in his class. He is now the 2nd oldest in the 1-2 year-old room and is ready to move into the 2-3 year-old room. I struggle with the fact that he is growing up so incredibly fast, but at the time, I enjoy all the new things he and I get to do together instead of each of drooling together. I’m sure Will will continue to excel … mainly due to good parenting.

  2. Yeah…kids grow up so fast. I feel like I’m aging fast too. I’m not too thrilled about either one.

  3. How do they grow up so fast? I never knew that it was possible to feel so much pride and lament at the same time until I became a mother.

  4. That’s such a cool feeling to see the kids progress (and to excel). The best part–it keeps on happening as they get older. Worst part–as you said, moves on too damn fast.

  5. My kids band instructor had me all weepy at the last concert. He told us how much it means for the parents to show up for those events and to savor it now because in a few years they’ll be going off to college or out on their own. He pointed out that at their ages their time left in our homes was now shorter than how long we’ve had them.

    But I’ve always been overly emotional about that. When my oldest turned 10 I lost it because he was closer to 18 than to baby. And Cats in the Cradle chokes me up something horrible.

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