The next time, I was sorting laundry and I glanced at the tag to confirm the size so it landed in the right stack. 10-12. I couldn’t seem to catch them fast enough as the tears started to fall.
This year, on the first day of school, not only was it the first day of a new school year for our oldest and middle child, but it was a milestone for me. It was the first year I didn’t cry on the first day of school. Not so much as a tear fell from my face and my heart really seemed to be full of so much hope and peace that no tear found its way to be shed.
After the addition of our youngest son, the Dude, I felt myself so consumed with such a different set of emotions. The birth of our first and second born was met with equal happiness and sadness. Happy over the incredible miracle that a baby is, but sadness over the fact that the pregnancy was over and those babies would never be as close to me as they were in utero. Every day outside of the womb was one step away from needing me. So much of my identity as a person is wrapped up in being a Mom to little bitties, that every year older they became, is another step away from that role. These children never stop growing, you know.
I adore babies and newborns have always been something so incredibly special to me. Even very difficult pregnancies are something to be treasured and marveled at because, I mean…you grow a human being without doing a thing. The fact that a woman’s body has been created to do that is beyond any level of my own comprehension. I love children. Every year older I get, the more I appreciate them because they are so opposite from adults and the ugliness of the world. After the birth of our middle son, I struggled and at every turn fought the idea that our family was complete, but feared that it might be and simply, I was not ready to say we were done with babies.
But then Lennon slid into this world and suddenly, his birthday did not greet me with conflicting emotions. Purely, I was just happy and our family finally felt complete. Each birthday is now met with a sigh of relief that we might finally have these baby days behind us. Although miraculous and special, I can appreciate pregnancy and newborns from afar and breathe easily and happily that those days are behind us. There’s no longing, on my behalf, when I pass a pregnant woman or a couple with a new baby. Perhaps it’s due to being so exhausted and overwhelmed by our third-born, but nonetheless, every step forward is greeted with appreciation for where we are now and excitement about the future.But now, a whole new set of emotions has surfaced, and it’s all due to our oldest turning 9 in just shy of 1 week. Parents of children that have already left the nest will use this time to jump in to say how fast the time from 9 to 18 will go and then they’re off to college. We’re halfway there. By no means is 18 the end of our role as parents, but it’s a banner year. Technically, they’re adults and we’re less responsible for the decisions they make. It’s the beginning of the rest of their lives.
I’m just not ready for this. At all. Not by a long shot. He’s almost a teenager, and I’m enjoying the person that he is right now. He’s such a spectacular kid. Obsessed with science and enthralled with the workings of the world. I’m the only girl he’s into and things won’t stay that way for long.
*Sigh* The Teenager will soon be a teenager.