Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Closing Window

J, being the firstborn, had dedicated bi-parental attention for 22 months before the arrival of his sister. For the next 3 or so years, he had plenty of attention from Mommy in the afternoons when his sister napped. It's a good thing too, as the J Boy loves his one on one time.

For the first three years of her life, not only did S not get much regular one on one Mommy time, but she spent a lot of time at preschool drop-offs and pick-ups, soccer practices, speech therapy appointments and whatever else was on her brother's calender. I oozed with Mommy guilt.

But when the girlie goo was three, her brother started kindergarten and was at school every weekday. She had preschool twice a week, but even with my work schedule the Mommy-daughter time started and it was the great equalizer and partially assuaged my burgeoning Mommy guilt.

I think we made the most of our times together. We were regulars at Starbucks, I've taken her variously to dance, gymnastics, soccer, swimming and skating. She's had play dates, trips to the park, and has been more than game on errand runs and grocery trips, the latter made more tolerable by the gifting by the grocery store of a chocolate chip cookie the size of her head. We have played a gajillion games of Guess Who? and Candyland and read a library full of books. We played games on the computer and had endless chats about pressing things like why the camera takes that kind of batteries.

But nothing has meant more to me on our mornings together than cuddles. "Will you cuddle wiff me?" the request comes regularly. I rarely turn her down regardless of how pressing the messy kitchen is or how compelling a blog entry is. Basking in the glow of the Teletoon channel we'd watch Scooby Doo. And cuddle.

Today was the last in this season of Mommy-daughter time and so the window is closing. We are in the last days of her kindergarten year. Next year she will be at school for the whole 6 hours, same as her brother.

I know we'll still have girl time. J does like to sequester himself to work on certain projects. But knowing we have that time, just the two of us, every week, is a thing of the past. Much as I am anticipating her being in grade 1 and the delights of learning to read, write and do arithmetic (and our not having to budget for childcare), equally, I am mourning the loss of our time together.

I'm just hoping she will develop my love of pedicures and spas so that we can have some very serious girl time in the not too distant future.


Ellie said...

Such a nice post. It is so bittersweet, isn't it? My daughter is starting 1st grade in september, too - and while I daydream now about long interrupted days, I will also miss our one-on-one time when her little brother was napping or still at preschool. On days we were alone together she would hop of the bus, ask if Finn was home, and when I said no she pumped her arm and said "Yessss! Girl time!"

Everyone always says not to wish it away when they are small, and I tried to remember this time together is precious, not always successfully.

Thanks for putting into words so well what I have been thinking about and feeling.

Konnie said...

Thank you for your thoughtful comments Ellie.

I am thinking we will have to start some regular one on one time with the kids. Oh good, another thing to schedule!