Why one Chicago mom is giving up mascara

Since becoming a parent, I have these moments where I am so overcome with emotion I simply cannot choke back the tears. Try as I might, I cannot help it. They just overtake me and I look like a madcap randomly crying.

Last week, I was in the car line waiting for my middle son to get out of preschool. My youngest daughter was asleep in her car seat. I was staring out the window kind of lost in my own thoughts.

Suddenly, I noticed a small boy playing in the snow nearby. He was bending over, grabbing snow, and putting it in his pants and coat pockets. As I watched him, so determined, so adorable; I giggled to myself. “He’s going to be wet and angry when he gets home,” I thought.

Then, randomly, I started bawling. Just like that. Like a complete and utter lunatic without control of her emotions, I cried.

I was empathetic and I knew exactly how this little boy was going to feel when he got home.

There are some things you just want to hang on to so tightly, and you cannot.

As a parent, I feel like this all the time.

There are moments that I want to grasp so closely and keep safely in my pocket forever. Moments like first baths and first steps, sticky cheeks and baby belly giggles. Those moments of footie jammies coming down the stairs on Christmas morning or sweaty heads running around on hot summer days or little backpacks making their way to their first day of school.

Moments that have since melted away.

However, while I knew the boy was probably disappointed when he got home, I also know that spring is going to be here soon, and there will be plenty of grass and dirt for him to shove in his pockets as boys tend to do.

My kids are growing and I miss them being babies (sometimes), but I have to say I love watching them grow up into independent, hysterical and smart young people.

Then, I cried again. Harder. (I’m really hoping no one saw.) This time, came the tears of happiness and gratitude for my healthy and happy kids that are able to grow and learn every day.

Long story short, no more mascara for preschool pick up.

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