Like many of my mom friends, this week brought about change for our family as my daughter started pre-kindergarten. The last few days and all their necessary adjustments have certainly created their fair share of struggles (dropped-nap-that-she-used-to-take-during-the-time-that-she’s-now-in-school, this side eye is meant for you) and leaving my daughter in the care of near strangers – another first for us – made me feel like I was walking around without a limb that afternoon. But rather than focus on the our rough patches this week, I’m going to take a moment to share the positives of all of these changes, however small they may seem. I have a feeling you mamas are going to feel me here. Yes, in the first 2.5 hours of being alone while my child was in school, I went grocery shopping, BUT:

I carried an actual purse, not a diaper bag.
When we left the house on Tuesday, Nora had her tiny adorable backpack filled with what she’d need for the afternoon, and I had my purse. Not a diaper bag, which now houses the potty seat I carry for use on public toilets, plus pretty much anything else you can imagine would be in there, but an actual purse. With MY essentials. Wallet, sunglasses, lip gloss, gum and THAT’S IT. And it was lightweight and unburdensome and glorious.

I chose the smallest shopping cart I could.
Seriously, can you see this thing? The only smaller option would have been a hand basket. Usually, when my daughter is in tow have to locate one of those carts with the cars on the front, which she insists upon and then demands that I carry her througout the store, leaving me to navigate what feel like a bus with one hand while I hold a 35 pound toddler in my other. There isn’t even an option for a child to sit in the cart I got to use this week.

I've dreamed of the day when I could use this cart. Photo credit C.Allard

I’ve dreamed of the day when I could use this cart.
Photo credit C.Allard

I walked around the store at a leisurely pace.
There was no rushing past the cracker aisle and no distracting past the bin of bouncy balls. I dawdled, strolled, and got only exactly what I needed. I even had time to make the unheard-of second trip to the farm stand for my veggies; we usually only have the patience for one trip in an afternoon, let alone a stop that allowed me to stop and smell the tomatoes.

I had a chance to pick up the house.
Well, the main floor, anyway, before both grandmas and an auntie came over for a mini celebration of my daughter’s first day of school. The best part about there being only two grandchildren in our immediate family is that everything is cause for a celebration – what lucky kids we have to have such loving and involved families! And besides, I’ll take any excuse to enjoy a cupcake.

But most importantly,

My daughter seems to enjoy school.
She comes home smiling, and her teachers don’t look like they’ve been through the ringer when they put her into the car seat at pickup. I imagine in the years ahead, we’ll continue to have our fair share of adjustment-related issues as our daughter moves up through the school system, but hopefully there will also always be these moments to savor and celebrate!

Photo credit C.Allard

Photo credit C.Allard

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