Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

I’m Not Ready to Have a Second Grader and Oh, Mamas Let’s Remember

“I wanna wear my fancy shirt,” he said. It was 8:00 a.m. He should have been dressed. We still needed to eat breakfast, brush teeth, find his shoes and catch the school bus. “Okay,” I said. I went to his closet, and held out the two fancy shirts he’ll wear. One’s a short-sleeved orange polo. The other’s a plaid button-down that he wore for school photos earlier this year. “That one,” he said, pointing to the plaid. It’s almost too small but I don’t care. I think about earlier years and having to show him shirts with the tags cut out because he didn’t believe they were gone.

I can

His fancy shirt on the last day of first grade.

I think about the year that winter turned to spring and then summer when he refused to graduate from long-sleeved shirts to short-sleeved ones. How he sweated at playgrounds. How people wondered why he was wearing a long-sleeved shirt.

Today was my little boy’s last day of first grade and he wanted to wear a fancy shirt.

I’m not sure I’m ready for him to turn seven in a few weeks or for second grade, come September.


I miss my two-year-old. I miss him needing my warmth to sleep and my hands to open juice boxes. I miss being able to carry him on my hip and the days when his head didn’t yet reach my chin while he sat on my lap.

I miss my two year old and oh mamas, let


When my son was two, there was a day when I called my husband at 2:18pm asking when he was coming home. The minutes were like hours and the clock was laughing at me each time I looked at it. My baby wasn’t napping. His angry red face was failure. The minutes felt like hours.


My baby and I were sleeping. I closed my eyes for just a moment and wake to my husband tapping me on the shoulder. “Shhh,” I whisper, and pat the bed, hoping he’ll lie down with us. He does, and we stare at our son. The gratitude and love I feel is like the ocean, slamming into me, receding, and back. Powerful. Greedy. Nourishing.


I close my eyes and I feel the warm, milk-scented comma that was once my son’s baby body curled on my chest. I miss worrying about dropping him. I miss falling asleep in his baby-room rocking chair, my breast heavy over his head. I miss tip-toeing to my own bed, tuned always to the baby monitor.


Today, my last-day-of-first-grade son got off the bus, handed me his backpack, and invited two friends over to play. “Of course,” I said. They pounded the stairs and jumped on unmade beds and I wondered whether his friends’ parents made their beds each day.

I’m often no longer a worthy playmate when it comes to Nerf sword fighting or making underarm fart-sounds. His friends come and bound up and down the stairs, throwing, snacking, talking about which powers they have as villains and heroes.

“Thank you that he has friends,” I whisper. Minutes later, “Let’s tone it down!” I yell. We go to the playground, and I snap a blurry photo of three boys running. “Stop before the street!” I holler after them.


I think about the days before my son was here and of lying awake at night, too uncomfortable to sleep. Tired. I close my eyes and remember talking to him in the dark. Promising him that no matter who he was when he came out that I’d love him more than there are grains of sand in the deserts and more than there are drops of water in all of the oceans, rivers, and lakes in all of the world.


I close my eyes for a moment and wake to a nurse tapping me on the shoulder. “M’am?” she says. “Oh! I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to…” I trail off because I see a man coming down the hall holding a baby. He’s so tall, I think. So handsome. He’s got light brown shaggy hair and blue-green eyes. A silly little grin that reminds me of when he was a boy who didn’t speak. I flash back to that boy who pushed my face away when I told him he was my favorite person in all of the world. I blink, and see him walking down the hall. The nurse stands, hands me my oxygen bracelet, and smiles.

“Mom,” he says, “Meet your grandson.” He passes the bundle that reminds me of a comma and I smell my grandson’s head.


I close my eyes. I see yesterday, tomorrow, and hope that I’ll hold a grandbaby one day. That I’ll see my now almost-seven-year-old walking down a hallway toward me, holding his baby. 


If you close your eyes and hope for different news from the television or from life, join us over at #100Speak. I wrote (THANK YOU LISA). You can too. 

Finish the sentence Friday writing prompt
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. This week’s sentence is 
“When I close my eyes, I see…” AWESOME PROMPT right? Your hosts:
As always, me from Finding Ninee
and this week’s sentence thinker-upper, Kerry Kijewski of Her Headache.

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  • Janine Huldie - Ok now I am bawling as tomorrow is the last day of first grade for Emma and kindergarten for Lily and totally just can’t believe how fast time is flying. As much as I know and hope for the future to be bright, I still am so ready for it. Hugs and here is to summer vacation though if nothing else now ❤️June 24, 2016 – 2:07 amReplyCancel

  • Ruchira Khanna - Jeez! I absolutely loved your take, Kristi Rieger Campbell.
    “I close my eyes. I see yesterday, tomorrow, and hope that I’ll hold a grandbaby one day. ”

    As a mom we all wanna dream the same and no one could have said beautifully than you >3
    Loved the incidents of you and him.

    Joined in the fun after a long break. Was visiting my parents thus, might not given justice to the prompt as you have 🙂June 24, 2016 – 3:59 amReplyCancel

  • Dana Dominey - Oh my goodness… there you go again. As you know my, “Little Peanut,” is twice as old are your boy now… Oh how I remember fondly asking him if he wanted me to hold his hand so he could fall asleep in car even before he finally spoke at 4yrs old. How warm and cuddly he was facing in in his Baby Bjorn… his little head under my chin… And the longing for him to have friends of his own.. and it finally happening! Your stories of before friends to NOW… all of them racing all around your home! Remember to pinch yourself anytime you take it for granted. You are his best mom ever… You created an environment that aids in his thriving! And he is happy!June 24, 2016 – 4:21 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Dana, thank you! I definitely will pinch myself and OOOH the Baby Bjorn! I still have Tucker’s bouncy seat and Bjorn. Just haven’t been able to get rid of them yet. *sniff*
      Love that you held your Little Peanut’s hand in the car. I used to sit in the back most of the time 🙂June 24, 2016 – 12:26 pmReplyCancel

  • Crumpets and Bollocks - I don’t miss the babies and the toddlers at all. My story is a little different than most mothers, but I love that you miss those days and can’t wait for the next round.June 24, 2016 – 10:01 amReplyCancel

  • Kerry - Glad you see so many wonderful memories in the past, see how far life comes, and the dreams of some day. Sweet all around. Sorry for the morning after appearance.
    I enjoy taking part, but have a few issues with getting the link up working right, how I like it, as I am so bad at blogging as a whole. The writing part I knew I could do, but didn’t expect to not be at home last night. Stayed over at my brother’s house one extra night. Different routine, but here I am. Hope I didn’t let you down any. Thanks again for including me. Happy to be here.June 24, 2016 – 10:39 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Hey Kerry,
      No problem about the next morning appearance – truly! I’m glad you’re here and of course you didn’t let me down!! I absolutely loved this week’s sentence. Thank you for it.June 24, 2016 – 12:27 pmReplyCancel

      • Kerry - Thank you.
        I am always fascinated by what people see, imagine, when they don’t have their eyes wide open to help navigate.
        Might sound strange.June 27, 2016 – 8:33 amReplyCancel

        • Kristi Campbell - Kerry, that doesn’t sound strange at all! It really is fascinating. What people see. How they think. What they remember and hope for… 😀June 28, 2016 – 10:04 amReplyCancel

  • Hillary Savoie - Oh, this is just beautiful–I love the details you’ve woven in that make me feel as if I know your son…the shirt, the fart noises. The end really got me as well…I often wonder about whether I’ll have a grandchild. I mostly assume not, but I still hope for it. Funny, no?June 24, 2016 – 11:55 amReplyCancel

  • Allie - Oh, this was a good post. First, yay on the friends coming over;). Next, I always think about my kids handing me a grandchild to hold. I will not be able to handle it!!!!!June 24, 2016 – 2:10 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Allie, EEEP to the kids handing us grandchildren to hold. I don’t know how I’ll handle it either but sometimes I think about it. Like, kind of a lot.June 24, 2016 – 5:56 pmReplyCancel

  • Allie - Oh, and baby Tucker is scrumptious!June 24, 2016 – 2:11 pmReplyCancel

  • Tamara - Way to make me cry, as this is the time both our babies are going to turn seven. WTH??
    So beautiful.June 24, 2016 – 3:22 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily - Oh, I love how you picture the future and meeting your grandson…some people may think it’s strange to picture that sort of thing, but I don’t, because i totally get it. 🙂June 24, 2016 – 3:34 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Emily,
      So glad you can picture meeting your grandkids too! It’s not weird 🙂June 24, 2016 – 5:57 pmReplyCancel

  • Echo - Sleep with one eye open, my friend. It all goes too fast. My boy is now a 5th grader and I can barely handle it. Yet, at the same time, it makes some kind of weird, illogical sense. I still have no idea what I am doing though!June 24, 2016 – 8:59 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I’ll sleep with one eye open and OMG I can’t believe he’s going to be in second grade and YOURS IN FIFTH. Said it on FB will say it again. He is YOU. So much. Love. Ride the waves and the lightning my friend.June 24, 2016 – 9:41 pmReplyCancel

  • Lizzi Lewis - Beautiful, beautiful words. Gorgeous peeks into moments of your life, and the more-now ones, I can SO picture playing out 😀 SEVEN! I remember seven (ish) and he’s going to have so, SO much fun. I love how you make things so good for him, and remember more than anything how much you love him and want him to have the best now, and the best future.

    World’s a changing. (and YAY to your #1000Speak, too!)

    You’re awesome.

    (I’m trying to imagine how, how many ‘borrowed’ grandbabies I might have. I think I’m up to about 10 ‘kids’ now…)June 24, 2016 – 11:50 pmReplyCancel

  • Christine Carter - Well crap. You did it again. Sucking me into your world and making me feel ALL the feels. Ah…

    I was looking at my son tonight, as we sat eating ice cream with his beautiful friend, who’s a girl, who I wonder if she will be his first kiss. I saw something new and revealing- and it lingers in me still. My son is growing- into this little man. His words are bigger, HE is bigger, and he radiates a new ‘grown up’ feel. He holds himself differently- like an almost teen. I’m astounded at this new revelation. And the thought of his first kiss.


    Then comes the grandbaby- in his arms as he’s walking down the hallway. I imagine this beautiful girl he just ate ice cream with- lying in the room he exits, having just given birth. <3June 25, 2016 – 4:44 amReplyCancel

  • Dashy - Such a heartfelt post. Time flies doesn’t it? Surely there are moments that you miss greatly, but also the many moments yet to come, the very ones you can look forward to. 🙂June 25, 2016 – 4:04 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Hi Dashy,
      Time SO flies and yes, the ones to come are the ones that help us let go of the ones too quickly gone I think. Or something like that.June 25, 2016 – 7:55 pmReplyCancel

  • Corinne - I’m always asking my now teenage niece and nephew why they grow up. I hope someday you’ll see your not-so-little-anymore boy carrying his baby to meet his or her lovely grandmother!June 26, 2016 – 8:59 amReplyCancel

  • yvonne - Oh, wow, your ending really got me! It took a moment for me to realise what it was about but oh!
    And all the rest was beautiful too. I thought Tucker was almost 6 and was surprised to see he’s nearly 7. How fast time goes!June 26, 2016 – 6:48 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aw thank you Yvonne!!! And I know. I keep remembering his third birthday. His first. I can’t believe we’re soon to celebrate seven. GAH.June 28, 2016 – 12:09 amReplyCancel

  • Dana - Even though your writing is so personal, you always capture the universal truths of parenting. Of the dreams yet to be, the passage of time, the hopes for the future. I hope one day we can meet for lunch with our grandchildren in tow, two little commas napping in their strollers.June 28, 2016 – 12:34 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - OMG meeting you for lunch with our little commas napping? I so very hope so too.June 28, 2016 – 11:41 pmReplyCancel

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