I can remember only a few things about kindergarten. Making paintings with string, all of us in our painting aprons. Somehow getting poor Mrs. Gibson in a conversation about whether God exists. (She and my mother became lifelong friends, so whatever that was about they worked it out.)

I barely remember how it felt to go into Junior High (the kids seemed big and scary) or High School (exciting, but also scary and loud, and it was clear if you went into the bathroom you risked being beaten up).

So I definitely don’t remember my own feelings, and I can’t really tell how Jaden feels about his impending move from preschool into kindergarten. A bit excited, a bit scared, from what he says. But I can tell you it’s been the summer of the baby. Bigtime.

Regression before the next step has been typical for both kids, but Jaden has been particularly adamant and persistent the last few months: he is a baby. He cannot walk, but needs to be carried. He speaks like a Minion, or perhaps a caveman. I am “mama” and I’d better pick him up and carry him around. It’s the baby game, and for weeks it’s seemed like the only game in town.

Because we didn’t get to be with either of our kids when they were really babies, I have enjoyed these baby moments, at least at first. Even the carrying, not easy with my 50-pound 5 year old baby, is kind of like getting to the gym. But it’s a bit terrifying too. Has he been hit with some brain disorder? His commitment to the role is so strong. (But he’ll play ninja warrior and wrestle, so he’s not lost his ability to speak, or to kick).

I’ve checked a few times that he understands that he’s going to be a big boy at big boy school. He knows.

So I guess it’s just a few more weeks of baby. While I’m excited to see his kindergarten self, I know I’ll miss being the mama and playing the baby game.