tears in the fitting room

2:43 PM

This past Friday was a long and hectic one. Kevin was working late with it being his last day before the official start of school on Monday and I had mountains of laundry to do, a to-do list that felt like it would never end and a stubborn headache. Late in the afternoon I piled the kids in the car and headed to Costco for our big fall stock up. I had been snappy and impatient with them all week, felt frazzled and annoyed by just about everything. As we pulled into the parking lot Birdie sighed dramatically and said out of the blue "Hey mama? I think kids have more fun in life than grownups. Is that true?" Wow. I gasped and laughed "Very true," I said. So she continues "Mama do you wish you were a kid every day of your life?" Again, wow. "I do sweetheart, every minute of every day..." It's incredible the way children have the ability to grab your attention and ground you exactly when you need it the most. Inside Costco they marveled at everything - from the crowds (that I was cursing under my breath), to the smells (the samples were out and we partook of them all, gratefully) to the giant twelve foot tall halloween monster that hovered above the costume display. And wouldn't you know it... we had a good time. In Costco. On a Friday. At five in the afternoon. We even laughed! Perhaps we can never be four again but we can try to be a little more patient, grateful, excited and joyful. Not always, but sometimes. 
It felt like a gift to go into the weekend with this mindset. Kevin returned that evening and the kids clung to him as if he had been gone for years. Heart-melting. Dinner was had, the kids were bathed and clothed in clean pajamas and then, finally put to bed. And eventually we too melted into bed and a deep, deep sleep. 
Saturday morning we headed to our favorite - Le Pain Quotidien in Bethesda for breakfast. It was in the high sixties and a chilly breeze called for cardigans and socks, especially since I knew we would eating outside. Le Pain is the only place that I trust with properly cooking a soft boiled egg and I can never resist getting one when we're there. The kids had oatmeal and waffles and must have paused their meal at least a dozen times to pet every passing dog. Birdie's day was made when our sweet waitress made a big show out of "making" her her very own cup of coffee (mostly cream with a splash of coffee and a generous heaping of sugar). 

After breakfast we took a walk on the Capital Crescent Trail but had to cut it short when Teddy declared that he needed to go potty. We're on week two of potty training with him and so far so good! He hasn't had an accident in a week but he does still do diapers at night. Any suggestions for how to cut those out too are needed! But all in all I'm really proud of him. He wasn't having it at first and was super stubborn but just as everyone predicted by the third day he got it. Hard to believe we now have two kids who are out of diapers, bottles, strollers, pacifiers and cribs. It's bittersweet. 

Look at these big kids!! Speaking of bittersweet. After our walk we headed to the mall (which I loathe but Madewells are hard to come by around here and Montgomery mall has the closest one so...) to pick up some fall clothes and shoes for all of us. I still can't believe how much their feet grew this summer! They both went up a full size in just three months! And Birdie no longer fits in size 4T. Everything we bought was a size 5. At one point we were all in the fitting room and she was standing there in a size 5 sweatshirt and size 5 yellow corduroy pants (which were actually a tad bit tight on her) and I lost it. My big girl. My young lady. And at the same time... my baby. Forever. I felt my mind racing, desperately checking to make sure that I can still see that little bean that couldn't fit into size 0-3 clothing for weeks and weeks. She looks so different now but the eyes remain. Those eyes that took my breath away the first time they looked at me in that delivery room. In that moment, almost five years ago, I never felt more lost, frightened and unsure. I looked into the face of my baby and instantly felt calm. "We've got this" she seemed to say. And ever since then she has been my tree of wisdom, serenity and calm. Watching her grow has been an incredible experience that makes my heart burst with pride and joy but also ache with the disappearance of every knuckle dimple and mispronounced word. It's never going to get any easier is it?

"Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well."
George R. R. Martin

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