The End of Naptime

Turns out there is a name for what I was. I hadn’t expected it to come so soon, and at the pronouncement of the only-just-four year old.


I was embarrassing.

When I wanted to take her in my arms just one more time and have just one more hug before she was gone from me, I was embarrassing. “Mum, I’m not a baby anymore you know.”

That sideways smile of tolerating my silly fancies but not having to indulge them.  So she didn’t, and waved instead. Just a wave. And then she was gone, and the teacher shut the door, quite literally, in my pathetic face as I was frantically pulling out my phone for one-very-last (maybe) photo of this bitter-sweet event:

The first day of school.




It felt like the last day of my mothering life.

On the first day of school, I usually have some girls over to celebrate the end of a wonderful summer and the start of another school year with champers and orange, but …. I felt I needed to be alone with my puffy eyes and my new solitary-at-home state. I wanted to dwell on it a bit. It’s the end of an era. The end of my ten-year-nap from a classical career in what might possibly have been something important (ish). To one or two people. Perhaps.

This surprise baby has been such a blessing. And today she was officially marked as “present” in a school roll call that calls her one of theirs. Not just mine. Ours. We have to share her with other people who will mark her character, and yet did not tell me their name.

I feel crazy to let them do it.

And yet …. this is a child who has been busting to grow up from the moment she was born. She has longed for school with her whole heart for over a year. She longs for lessons, children to play with, singing, dancing, reading. She wants to be there as desperately as I want her home with me.


Jesse, on the other hand, longs desperately to be at home with me as much as I long him to be at school. Is this the transition we slowly make? He needs to learn some things I don’t know how to teach him.  Jesse, however, does not particularly want me for me. He wants only what I have every single day he is at school …… which is the key to the shed where he keeps his new bike. The boy would ride his bike into the sunset if we let him. There were days in the summer where he spent four solid hours on two wheels.

You can bet his blood sugar levels were stellar!


His kidney is also stellar. Or, as one of his new doctors said (and I have repeated several times), his kidney is “rock solid”. He had a week of dehydration, but that was the 43 o week. We were all dehydrated. He is otherwise so blissfully all-boy that Tim admitted he looks at Jesse and thinks “He’s MY boy now.” He jumps off cliffs, rides his bike for hours, plays basketball on the street all day, throws baseballs, swims like a fish …. he’s strong and healthy and fearless …. and in the midst of being gloriously, unthinkingly, crazily, beautifully, All Boy.


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I just find myself so thankful. For all of it. All my beautiful, kind, loving, heart-filling babies: a spunky 4 year old; a healthy 8 year old; an almost-10-year-old with boundless wisdom and compassion. My hard-working husband. My endlessly giving friends who fill my life to the level of overflow.






You know that book, 1000 Gifts? Turns out that counting all the things God has given me, all the good that comes every day, has quite literally changed my brain. This new habit of seeing the good everywhere; of seeing the holy in the mundane …. it has given me the experience of the holy in the mundane.

Much of my life is mundane. But I am a living experiment for myself. The first step was seeing the little gifts that envelope my world. The next step is being part of it. Being a gift for someone else. Maybe that’s what I am to be when I grow up, now that my baby is in school.

If I can learn to not be embarrassing while I am at it.


4 thoughts on “The End of Naptime

  1. and me and my husband love you all to bits…and Kim, you have been living and giving for all your life…you just didn’t know it…..thank you for inviting us on the journey!

  2. Beautifully written as always Kim, but amazingly inspiring and uplifting as well. Thank you for your honest sharing, and in doing so, gently reminding me to count my blessings too!
    I’m praying for you as you explore this new chapter in your life xx

  3. Hi Kim, We were away- Mikes Mom died and we went to CT for the funeral. She was 96 and had lived a long beautiful life so it was a celebration in many ways. Amy and Jeff flew in so it was nice seeing them. Love your photos and your inspired words ( I am awaiting your book!). I hope your are settling into your peaceful time and enjoying some me time which you have definitely earned. Your family is beautiful and you are very blessed. xxAnn

    On 9/5/13 9:42 AM, “The Jesse (John) Tree” wrote:

    > kimberleyparker posted: “Turns out there is a name for what I was. I hadn’t > expected it to come so soon,and at the pronouncement ofthe only-just-four > year old. Embarrassing. I was embarrassing. When I wanted to take her in my > arms just one more time and have just one m” >

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