Thursday, May 2, 2013

Carpe Diem(s)

OK, so my Latin isn't so hot.  No idea what the plural of "diem" is, but you get the idea.

Anyway, onto the real topic of today's post.  The other day I picked up a preschool application for Asher.  We have sort of planned all along that we would start Asher in preschool in January 2014, when he'll be a little over two-and-a-half.  Because he is an only child, we are always concerned about his exposure to other kids and the lessons they can teach him about getting along with others.  And because he is so energetic and physical, we are also concerned about him learning some self-control and order.  Both of those lessons are hard to teach to a kid who stays at home with a nanny and, therefore, whose world revolves around him.  Preschool is the remedy.

This preschool plan was mostly MY idea, but when I pulled into the parking lot and walked into the door of the school, I felt overwhelmed.  Like most parents, I couldn't believe my little boy was big enough to be taking that step, even though that step wouldn't come for almost nine months.

So, a little vulnerable and sad, we moved into yesterday, when my husband and I started talking a bit about trips for later this year.  I have been thinking for a long time that next winter would be a good time for a trip to Disneyland--Asher will be old enough to enjoy it but young enough to qualify for free admission.  In considering that, I realized that we would have to do it before school starts in January because I wouldn't want to pull him out of the new routine we were trying to establish.

And then the reality of him starting school set in.

The thing that is great about having a young child is that you aren't hampered by HIS schedule.  Sure, you've got your own stuff going on, so you aren't totally free, but you also don't have soccer games and cub scout meetings to muck up your plans.  I purposely keep Asher free of commitments on my Thursdays off and try to keep him out of weekend activities so that we have the freedom to do whatever we want with my non-work time.

 Then school happens.  And then it's the school schedule plus all the stuff that goes with it--birthday parties, fundraisers.  And then organized sports happen.  And then other extra-curricular activities.  And then you have no time.

Or at least that's how I imagine it.  Having never been a mother of a preschooler before, I wouldn't really know.  But that's my fear.  I see all of our carefree family days slowly vaporizing.  This year, our big family trip will be to a resort in Vermont, where we get a discount because we're traveling before the height of the summer vacation season.  Next year, Asher will be in school, and we'll be taking our summer vacation at the same time as everyone else.  So long, carefree days.

So getting back to the title of this post.  When Asher was a newborn, I got totally fed up with hearing from old women at the grocery store about how I should "cherish every moment" with him.  The reality is that there are a lot of un-cherish-able moments when you have a newborn, and as much as I thought I understood the gist of what they were saying, I was annoyed.  But now I feel like one of those old ladies in the checkout line: carpe diem.

Take advantage of those flexible, pre-preschool days. Take your vacations at odd times.  Don't over-plan your weekends.  Have fun with your freedom.  You might not cherish every moment, but those free days will be gone before you know it.   

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