Hitting the one-year mark is a time full of transitions, for both parents and child. Going from a baby to a toddler...taking those first steps (still waiting)...often it's time for full or partial weaning...the list goes on and on.
This morning, I witnessed another transition for Benjamin, and it had me more emotional than I thought it would. I always knew that he'd move from the infant room to the toddler room at daycare some time around his first birthday. There are other characteristics that they look for - mobility, eating table foods, etc. But it usually happens somewhere around (but not before) 12 months.
The toddler room is right next door to his infant classroom. A windowed door separates the two, and he's spent plenty of time over the last few months peering in at the "big kids", watching them play. Many of his former classmates are over there now. Yesterday, they told me that he finally went over to visit for the first time (and it went very well!).
But this morning, when I dropped him off, they sent him over before I was even finished unpacking his things. So I stood and watched him for a while. I watched as the tallest girl in the class crossed paths with him...and tried to put a little "bow" on his head. I watched as he made his way over to a toy that must be so exciting and new to him. And as I stood there and watched, a lump formed in my throat. Surrounded by all those other toddlers, he was no longer the big fish in the baby pond. He was, really and truly, a toddler.
So I guess I shouldn't be surprised that it made me so emotional. My little man is growing up.
No word yet on when he'll transition full time, but my guess is it will be soon.