In less than three weeks, summer will end and my daughter will start Kindergarten. I’ve anticipated this beginning for most of the year. It seems like an incredible transition, for me and her. Just a few weeks ago, a friend asked whether I was ready for the summer to be over. My own answer surprised me. I told her with little hesitation, “No.” I realize I am not ready to let my daughter venture into her next milestone.

My days are filled with the musings of my five year old. She shares my space almost exclusively. In the morning, I write, while she colors. Sometimes she spins her own stories and often she asks, “Momma, how do I spell this word?” The pace of these mornings are slow, with nothing occupying the space except the words exchanged between us. I notice everything about her and what she says to me. Part of me wants to tattoo these moments in my head because I don’t want to forget the innocence of our conversations.

As she grows older, some of her childlike mannerisms are disappearing. She doesn’t say “lellow” and “triangadu”,  but yellow and triangle. She prefers showers now, instead of baths. When I asked her yesterday morning if she will ever take a bath again, she responded with “No. Baths are for three year olds Momma. I am almost six.” There are connections she’s making and I am learning that she has her own preferences and will. She eats her french fries plain, claiming that ketchup is too sour. Her favorite ice cream flavor is anything with mint. She loves to sing and dance, especially when she senses that no one is watching.

I am witnessing her discovery of all of her likes and dislikes. Everytime she is surprised or excited or happy about something new, I realize that it is a beginning for her. And as I watch her, the pull is to hold tighter and not let go of these particular moments. There is a certain charm of a five year old, laughing, crying, running back and forth all in an attempt to capture life. It’s a goodness you must watch to really appreciate.

When the school year begins, I will pack her lunch, drive her to school, and witness yet another beginning for my daughter. Part of me knows that it signifies an ending for me.

So I don’t mind this summer pace. Slow, but memorable.

I am going to hold on as much as I can. Because letting go is just around the corner.