I swore I was done. Finished. No more for me, thank you very much. I was wrong.
I thought I was ready for all of the changes headed my way; Squish starting kindergarten, the Padawan hitting middle school, and the Girl-child commencing her senior year of high school. For the first time in my life, all my children are school-age. We have freedom I haven’t known in nearly two decades, and I’ve been so looking forward to it.
So why have I spent the last few weeks mired in suffocating grief? Squish feels like he’s been five forever. I’m ready for him to grow up a little more. And we’ve been hanging on by our toenails, trying to help the Padawan survive a disappointing elementary school experience, counting down the days until he transferred to the stellar middle school. We’re there now. And it doesn’t feel as good as I hoped it would.
I’ve gotten a little weird, a little obsessive, pouring over family photo albums and baby books. But even as I chuckle over double-chins and gap-toothed grins, I grieve. I’m astounded that those oh, so familiar faces on the scrapbook page stare back at me like strangers. Who are these babies? I barely remember them. Time plays its paradoxical trick; babyhood seems at the same time yesterday and a thousand years ago.
I didn’t expect to feel this way. I thought I would celebrate our new status up one side and down the other, and I do. But I cannot deny the wistfulness. Sometimes in our grief, we do unexpected things. And I did.
I thought it was all behind me; the nights of broken sleep and all that good stuff. But we’re starting over again.
I have 3 kids. One is now married with a baby on the way. The middle is entering her sophomore year of college. Youngest is a sophomore in high school.
Hopefully you’ll feel a bit better knowing there are kindred spirits in this world. Those of us that delight and mourn, all at the same time. We wrap our lives and hopes and dreams around our children’s happiness. “You’re only as happy as your saddest child” is so true. Parenting is by far the very hardest job on the planet. We must raise them to be good adults, to make good decisions, to find happiness on their own. We must do all that and not damage them with the baggage we carry from our past.
I hope this year gets better. That you and your children find peace at the end of each day. That you give yourself credit for the past and strength for the future.
Hang in there! You can do this and so can they!
It took forever for the pics to load so now I don’t know what I’m going to do with all the onesies I ran out and bought while I was waiting.
I might have giggle-snorted at this. This is the best.
And the new baby’s name?
I’ve missed you 🙂 My oldest is 5 and while part of me can’t wait for them to all to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE ALREADY, I know my ovaries are going to ache the minute it happens. Paradoxical is sooo it.
Gorgeous new addition, btw 🙂
Beautiful new addition to the family! Congrats! Name please?
So cute. . .and its name is?
Such a cute kitty! Congratulations!
We did the same thing over here! 🙂
The kitty! So beautiful! Can’t wait to meet him/her. Hope y’all are well.
Kitty! The kind that is self-sufficient, yet never grows up. He/She’ll be happy in your home. 🙂
It’s a funny thing, isn’t it, how we sometimes decide in advance how we “should” feel about something, and then caught off guard when real life (and resulting emotions, with all their messiness) actually hits home… I suppose we’re much more interesting this way than we’d be if we could “plan” our feelings–but it’s not always comfortable, is it? Hugs!
You got a cat? Don’t cat eat or play with turtles?
She couldn’t get into the enclosure without opposable thumbs. It’s all good!
Ha! I completely missed the object of this post. 🙂 I thought it was about grieving for the fact that your kids were growing up. Sorry for my ubber serious response.
Yes, kittens are troublemaking, lovebugs. I hope she’s with you a good long while!
You didn’t miss the subtext at all, and I appreciated the thoughtful reply. The grief is real. I am happy to report, though, that it is rapidly fading. We have a new baby now, and she’s just what I needed.
Oh what a cutie. Looks like my sis’s kitty. 🙂
Good post. I feel your excitement and pain when it comes to the kids going full time to school. The life of a mom!