It has to be more than coincidence that Annabelle and I got to spend much of today alone together. We so rarely do. But this afternoon she came dress shopping with me and then to a coffee shop where she gulped down a big hot chocolate with whipped cream and chocolate swirled on top. And then we drove home.

“Mom,” she said as I merged onto Hwy 7. “Can we listen to Raffi?”

My heart nearly stopped.

“I want song #8,” she continued.

Song #8: Bumpin’ Up And Down In My Little Red Wagon

It was as if she knew.

It was as if she knew that I have been thinking non-stop about her baby days – those early weeks when I’d walk her around and around the living room in the middle of the night trying to calm her. Many times I’d walk and bounce her to song #8 – Bumpin’ Up And Down In My Little Red Wagon. She was soothed by the dips and swells of the music and I always felt it was her favorite song.

 

Bumping up and down in my little red wagon

Bumping up and down in my little red wagon

Bumping up and down in my little red wagon

Won’t you be my darling

 

I’ve been thinking about those days so much this past week because I’m headed back to a full-time job tomorrow morning. And the last time I worked full-time was when I was pregnant with Annabelle eight years ago.

I feel like it’s the end of an era tomorrow. I relinquish my title as “stay-at-home mom.” And in many ways this makes me sad. My kids will start going to daycare. Chris will have to do more than he already does around the house. I won’t be around to give them lunch or do crafts with them or have dance parties in the kitchen. I won’t be there when Alec wants to “nuggle.” And I’ve cried many a tear over the loss of these moments.

But I know that this is what my family needs right now. A change of pace. An opportunity to grow. To overcome fears and obstacles. And succeed at new endeavors.

We’ll all be doing this together as a family – the way we do everything else.

But I’ll always think of these past eight years as the best gift a mom could ever get.