IMG_2166Last night I started packing the Pickle’s lunch.

We are finally going back to school!  (after an extra long break)

I meticulously selected lunch items that would be healthy, filling and easy to open.  I cleaned out her new Minnie Mouse Back Pack that she got for Christmas and began listing in my head the items that she would need to have in it.  I picked out her clothes and laid them out for this morning.  And in my heart I mourned just a teeny bit..

Because, you see, my girl is moving up to the three-year-old class today.

She doesn’t turn three until March, but I am the 2 1/2 year old teacher at the MDO… and trust me… you don’t want us in a class together.  So she is moving up early.

I am beyond excited for her.  I know she is going to love it and she is going to learn so much.  Her new teacher is the grandma of one of her current classmates and she is a wonderful lady!  She loves Jesus.  She is great with the children.  She really works hard at the skills required for them to master the “3”s, including obeying, sitting, listening.  Things I even struggle with occasionally.

But I mourn just a tad.

Because I’ve seen my students move up… I’ve seen their clothes grow taller and taller as they walk past my room.  I’ve seen their language skills skyrocket and their personalities develop. I’ve watched as my favorite students have moved from diapers to using the bathroom all by themselves.  But most of all… I’ve seen them transform right in front of my eyes…

…from toddlers…

To kids.

I know that this is not just a new room or new toys or a new class for my sweet Pickle.  This is one more step in her path to becoming a little girl.  One more stage in growing independent.  One more class to springboard her into a life of learning and growing, socializing and interacting with people, making friends, mastering skills, learning who she is.

And while I’m thrilled for all that she will learn and all that she will become, that little pang of longing is already tugging at my heart.  Reminding me to cherish each tiny moment with her now.  Reminding me to write down the silly toddler things she says… because tomorrow she may correct herself.  Reminding me to cherish these days.  Slow them down.  See her.

Because her journey apart from me has only just begun.


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