My child is graduating, and she’s my baby.
I sit and remember all the millions of tiny moments that led up to this big change. How every second of my life has been ruled by a public school schedule for the last twenty-three years and from next week on, it won’t be.
In my adult life, I have never not had kids (I know a double negative-but it’s accurate). My first child came along when I was still in college and living at home with my parents. So all those twenty-something years of finding myself never happened. I became an adult, to quote Lorelai Gilmore, “the moment the stick turned pink.”
I don’t regret any of the time I spent on my bundles of joy.
But from the age of 21, I have been fully responsible for at least one other human, to bathe, feed, clothe, shelter and entertain. I’ve being tethered by the morning rituals of preparing breakfast, making sure everyone has lunch, transportation, and of planning vacations around summer, spring, and Christmas breaks.
Within days I will be free.
I have one word for the whole thing: WEIRD.
I recall all those trips to Potter’s Park Zoo, the Hands On Museum, going to the all-night party when Harry Potter books would come out, camping, sleep overs, sickness and a trillion other tiny precious events. It all feels very over and very final. And that is sad.
I knew it was coming. I have been preparing for some time, getting senior pictures and buying prom dresses, but the reality of her last day of school is a shock to my system.
As when my oldest moved out and I welcomed two new fur babies, I know there will be a period of adjustment. A time to find a new pace to my day. A new comfort zone. A new rhythm.
Taking the time to examine this, I guess overall I wonder how I did it. How did I raise two daughters to adulthood without screwing it up? I know I had a lot of help along the way from friends, family, and even my employers. But I can’t help but feeling a little proud that I made it. It’s like crossing the finish line to a twenty year marathon.
And what do I do with myself now?
I need to find out how I actually want to send my time rather than how I have to spend it. I know it will involve more writing, more working, perhaps even more soul searching. Who am I besides a mom of school-aged children? Do I like to listen to loud music in the morning? Do I want to do a run at 8p.m. without worrying about getting ready for the school day?
I feel like there are a thousand things I can now do and it’s terrifying, but also invigorating. As I look at my now year old kitties, I recall–not all change is bad.
I look forward to the next few months of adjustment and hope I can explore what it is to just simply be me.
Have you had a huge moment sneak up on you? Big life change that shook your world? Post below.
Please comment even just to say hi!
I had a mini epiphany when my oldest graduated. I’m working my way out of this gig. It IS very weird. My baby will be a freshman next school year. I’m very aware of her biological clock ticking it’s way to my retirement. I’m trying to remember to enjoy the rest of this chapter. The teen years are hard, but precious.
Aw, Jenni I totally understand your situation. Hormones are hard. We three girls always talked about getting t-shirts that said, “Let’s be friends through PMS.” It didn’t work. 😉 Teen years are the MOST important, so much of their personalities form and they make decisions that will follow them forever. Sounds like you are right there in the trenches and have the right attitude. Good luck! Thanks for the comment!
I still have fifteen years or so…
You are still in the cutie-baby-fun-time arena. Enjoy the pre-hormones years. You will get there and feel sad, then a bit excited. 😀
Enjoy a whole new beginning! Because that’s what it is a beginning–not an ending!
Agreed. I need to think positive and there are oodles of fun things on the horizon. Many thing you can do with adult kids like movie nights and picnics and the fun of watching them find their niche. Thanks for the comment!
You did it!! And I’m doing it again!!!
I think you are perhaps having even more fun this time. Your little grandbabies are adorable!
Those kittens are so adorable. Has it really been a year? Has it really been over 20 (says the mom who’s still at the beginning of it all)?? Very excited to see where this next stage takes you.
I just have to work on not becoming a crazy cat lady. I saw some adorable kitties the other day and had to walk away. Two is enough. And don’t worry, you have a few years under your belt already, and it will fly by. Tempus fugit.
Well said, Pam. And job well done! Your girls are awesome. Time flies and I can’t believe how fast my own “babies” are growing up!
Thank you! 😀 You have a bit more time and I think you are a great mom, too. You value each moment and always put them first. You will have no regrets.