Back to School & Such Tragedies

The History Project

My oldest has a history project due on Monday. He needs to create a timeline of his own life, and pinpoint the top 5 milestones or memories that shaped who he is today. He’s 13 years old so I’m sure his timeline will include his first Green Day concert, or his first week-long camp out with the Boy Scouts. Perhaps he’ll pinpoint the first time his dad let him drive the boat; a 26-foot Larson that we purchased the summer he turned 2 years old.  It got me thinking about the milestones and memories that I’d write if it were my project.

How could I possibly pinpoint just 5 moments in time for this boy; this boy to whom I gave the gift of life, but who gave me the gift of motherhood.

I think back to when it was just the two of us. I captured every milestone in pictures, videos and journals. I’d filled an entire page on the morning he tried my homemade applesauce. I watched him grow, literally, before my very eyes. I sang to him, danced with him, took him around town and beamed whenever somebody stopped me to comment on his beautiful blue eyes.

I was one of those moms who read books, countless books, on babies & milestones, and played Beethoven & Mozart next to his crib while he slept. I used to hold him and sing, “If I Could” from Celine Dion’s, Miracle cd, and I’d always end up crying. Thinking back, I may have been a bit post-partum.

I felt like my heart was now living outside of my body, and it ached knowing that I couldn’t protect him, as I had when I carried him.

When he was born, it was complete chaos. After attending all the parenting classes, and being super prepared with my soothing music cd, my go-bag ready and waiting, his super cute newborn outfit, folded neatly…he decided to come 3 weeks early, via emergency C-section.

This girl who never so much as showed a bra strap during gym class, was now lying on a cold, metal table with swarms of young interns and doctors moving to and fro, and I remember saying, “Am I naked?” knowing that it was a distinct possibility that indeed I was.

Three days after I came home, I got to attend my baby shower. I was the only mother I knew who had baby pictures at her baby shower!

I look back and my heart literally hurts. I miss that baby. I miss those moments when it was just the two of us, hanging out during the day, with no worries of homework, projects or deadlines. They say it happens in the blink of an eye; you turn around and a year’s gone by. Then he’s suddenly 5 and losing his first teeth. He’s holding your hand on the 1st day of school, and you don’t want to let it go, because you know the day will come when he’ll let your hand go. He’ll be kissing you goodnight, and squeezing you so hard it hurts, but soon he’ll be waving goodnight as he heads up on his own.

He’ll have his first dance, his first fight, his first kiss. And you have to let him go a little each day.

But even though I miss that baby, I’m so proud of the young man he’s becoming. He’s a good and kind boy. He’s funny and thoughtful. He’s learning what it means to be a big brother and understands that he’s looked up to by both of his younger siblings, and he’s making me proud.

He’s found a passion for guitar, for Scouts, for baseball. He has a dry sense of humor like his dad, and his seldom shown silly side, from me.

His milestones have been many. And while I’d love to write down all the ones I feel are the most important, I know he will have his own. He is growing into an independent young man, and letting him grow, while hard, is perhaps a milestone for me.


Written: 2017


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