I waited 34 years to get married…and another 2 years before I had my first child. At 38 years old with my 2nd, and dare I say, 41 when I birthed my 3rd child, I finally decided that perhaps the baby producing years had reached its completion. Much like the airline stewardess as one exits the plane to their final destination, “thank you. bye now. thank you. bye now.” Yes, I had reached my final destination – I had waited a lifetime to be called “mom” – I had arrived.
I did the 1 a.m., 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. feedings. I nursed. I pumped. I nursed again. I read books. I studied hard. I swaddled. I even made my own apple sauce. Mornings were filled with Baby Einstein dvds, hugs & kisses, and singing – lots of singing.
Afternoons were jam packed with story telling, building blocks and milestones. And let us not forget the thousands of pictures of baby hands and super cute baby feet. And diapers, and changing bibs & onesies.
I had mastered the baby portion of the child’s life. Done. I even mastered the toddler years – baby proofing the house, putting my hand over all corners to protect their cute little faces from being jabbed by the corner of the kitchen table. Cutting up grapes super small, teaching them words, sign language and all things fine motor skill.
It was a good run being a great mom.
Once they hit their school-age years, all bets were off. I couldn’t figure out their math homework, I couldn’t figure out a possessive pronoun from a reflexive (yes, that’s a thing). I mean, I did this once right? I was even like…smart – never getting below a B in any subjects. Unless you count gym. I hated gym. And since when did the boys not want to dress like twins. I mean, so what – they’re 2 years apart. It’s cute!
Suddenly, I felt inadequate; like I didn’t know anything. The littles who ran to me with stuck zippers and knotted shoelaces, were doing things on their own, for themselves, and it was happening so very fast. The babies who crawled into my bed were now going up on their own, brushing their teeth and yelling “goodnight” from the stairway. No. I want kisses. I want hugs. I want my babies. I’m not ready for this.
Now, my first born is entering high school. High school. He’s 5’10 and I swear is growing a mustache. What? He’s got sideburns for goodness sake! My middle is going into junior high. His voice, once so high and so cute is now like that of a grown man. It’s scares me sometimes, when I hear him calling from the other room. I swear it’s an intruder. I don’t recognize it.
And then there’s my little…entering her last year in primary school. She’s sassy and sweet, smart and sarcastic. She is talented, kind and caring – but she too, is no longer a baby. Just the other night she pulled out her own tooth, before bed, because the tooth fairy only comes at night, and she didn’t want to miss her. I told her, after looking at the brownish-hue tooth, “you’ll be lucky if you get $.50 for that thing!” So she took it, brushed it with my whitening toothpaste, came to me and flashed it at me, saying, “Now it’s worth at least FIVE BUCKS!” Sassy doesn’t begin to describe her.
I miss my babies. I miss their little voices and little fingertips holding onto mine so tightly. I miss being their entire world. I know, I know…it’s part of growing up. Letting go so they can fly.
This new school year will bring new challenges, obstacles, and changes – but it will bring new friends, memories and independence.
And while I miss my littles, I have enjoyed every minute, every milestone and everything in between.