I have been extremely fortunate that I have been able to stay at home with all of my kids and work on my own volition. In regards to activities and schooling their routines have essentially all been the same. We choose to not to enroll our kids into preschool until they are three, and then they go MWF for half a day. This has given me extra time with each of them, and special alone time with the remaining child who is at home. When my oldest daughter was 6 months old, she was enrolled in a parent/baby swim class and music class. As she got older, she began to participate in more mommy and me type of activities. At 16 months she entered into gymnastics class with (the now famous to our family) coach Susan. For my son and other daughter they have followed the same activity placement schedule. I have done my best to do the same for Sonze, but of course, with her, things are different.
This past Friday my 2 year old was moved out of the mommy and me gymnastics class and into the big girl class with her favorite Coach Susan. She was a little shy at the beginning, but a quick cuddle from Coach Susan and all was well. As I watched her participate in her new class I of course was filled with so much joy at the fact that she is out on the floor all by herself. She loves to tumble, do bars and beam, and jump on the trampoline. I videoed her participation and took a billion pictures. I had the same exact feelings with my two older kiddos. The feeling of a sense pride accompanied with a tinge of sadness at the fact that a stage of their lives has been complete. This feeling softened by the knowledge that the next child would fill the spot the older one had left. Still I would attend the same class I had and continue to see Coach Susan love on my next baby. As I watched my two year old participate in the circuit area those damn tears of mine filled my eyes as the thought crept in that my next child will not be taking the place in coach Susan’s mommy and me class.
It can be argued that this would have eventually occurred after we had our last child; however, my 2 year old is NOT my last child. I am supposed to have the mommy and me gymnastic class experience with Sonzee. Sonzee should be bonding with Coach Susan, and as Sonze would run around the circle, Coach Susan would brag to other parents how her oldest sister was the youngest child to enter into the mommy and me class 5 years ago. I would smile and continue to chase Sonze as she stumbled about holding onto a beany baby or musical instrument. THAT is how I dreamed it would be. It is how it was SUPPOSED to be.
The pain that accompanies this experience is one that I am sure will resurface as the years continue to breeze on by. It is excruciating and this is the first time I am experiencing this type of heartache. It is a feeling that I cannot even convey appropriately. It is such a forceful punch to my chest, a very pertinent reminder of how things are so vastly different with Sonze. (As if I needed such a reminder). Sonze and I will create our own experiences together and we will have opportunities to do things my other three never had the chances to do. I will cherish the experiences that will continue to fly by with my older children and hopefully one day the pain that accompanies the reminders of what it is not will be easier to tolerate. But if I am honest, my preference would be for it to be the way I dreamt it to be when I first found out I was pregnant with my 4th baby.
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