Mother is a verb, not a noun. ~Proverb
at this point in my life, almost everything is a "last". i envy all the young moms posting pictures of kindergarten with cute signs, because i know how many awesome, busy and even stressful times they have in their future. and while you are living it, it's can be very hard. but once you are through it, you just MISS it.
She never quite leaves her children at home, even when she doesn’t take them along. ~Margaret Culkin Banning
its been a running joke in my house for years that i drive my kid(s) to the bus stop. mostly josh for the last 6 or so. but starting way back in nursery school, when i drove them to school, i have ALWAYS taken my kids somewhere in the morning (you know, unless i overslept :) and today, 16 years later, was very likely my last drop off. or at least last "regular" drop off, as i'm sure we will oversleep once or twice over the next year or so. but this morning, on josh's first day of his sophomore year, he had to take the bus. just so that we know what his bus number is (in case of emergency or his ride falling thru, whichever comes first).
why do i still drive my teenager to the bus stop you might ask? its a question that plagues everyone in my house - except the teenager who doesnt have to actually walk to the bus stop. he enjoys it - i think. but this is my reality - or rationale, depending on who you ask. what i have come to believe over the last 21 years is this - my kids are going to be ok. they are going to figure things out for themselves. josh is perfectly capable of getting his almost 16 year old self to the bus. BUT. what these 10 minute intervals have come to mean to me, and them, is that they are still my priority. it gives us 10 minutes to do a check in. what do you have going on? do you have all of your stuff? how are you feeling? its basically a gut-check for both of us. as silly as that may seem.
Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed. ~Linda Wooten
life is busy. my jobs change. our schedules change, especially in the evening. but what never changes, at least for a few more years, is our morning. since pre-k at ANS, we have had to get ourselves out of the door by 7am. luckily for me, the older the boys got, the later i had to get up. most days i literally roll out of bed, stumble downstairs, grab my coffee, shove my feet in my uggs and walk out to my car...4 minutes TOPS from my feet hitting the floor to the car. i drive 45 seconds around the corner to the bus. and sit with josh for anywhere from 30 seconds to 10 minutes, depending on what time i actually walked out of the house. and no matter whether it is 30 seconds or 10 minutes, it starts the day right. i have learned more about my kids sitting at the bus stop than i can possibly tell you. its like our magic cone of silence. its like the boys know they dont have much time, so it cant be one of those long drawn out conversations i suck them into. its a max 10 minute window. so we problem solve quickly. or just shoot the shit. sometimes we dont really talk at all. but that also gives me a little glimpse into where they are. sad, tired, grumpy. it all means something. and it helps me figure out how to be a better mom. and today, might be the last time i got to do this. and im completely flustered by the prospect of it.
It's not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can't tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it, myself. ~Joyce Maynard
i dont think all of the sudden josh and i will stop talking. but i dont want to lose that time with him. i'm sure jake and luke would say, well you didnt drive US to the bus stop in high school and we are just fine. logically i know this argument. and i didnt. jake rode with a friend, luke rode with jake. but i still was up. josh was in middle school. i took HIM to the bus, so we all had that morning check in. maybe i'm over estimating what it all means. which wouldnt be the first time. but it has occurred to me lately that the next kindergarten picture i take will be of my GRANDCHILD. who hopefully will not be making an appearance for SEVERAL more years. but this is the stage of life that i am in. and its just fucking NUTS. i literally feel like i blinked my eyeballs and had 3 grown men in my house. which is not to say i didnt enjoy the journey. i did. i cant say i loved every second of it. it was very stressful at times. it still is. but it has just been so incredible to get to be the mom to these amazing boys. and i miss them being little and needing me. not that i dont think they still need me. i know they do. but its different. and just a little bit sad.
A child enters your home and for the next twenty years makes so much noise you can hardly stand it. The child departs, leaving the house so silent you think you are going mad. ~John Andrew Holmes
if you are a mom of a elementary school kid who feels like tearing her hair out, all i can say is, one day you will miss it. i know it doesnt make any sense. because in that moment you literally can not wait for your kids to be out of "that" stage - whatever it is. but when you look back, you are going to wish it didnt go by so fast. enjoy your day of freedom today. and then take a deep breath. the next time you blink, you will be me, missing your messy, crazy, chaotic lives.
Parents rarely let go of their children, so children let go of them. They move on. They move away. The moments that used to define them - a mother's approval, a father's nod - are covered by moments of their own accomplishments. It is not until much later, as the skin sags and the heart weakens, that children understand; their stories, and all their accomplishments, sit atop the stories of their mothers and fathers, stones upon stones, beneath the waters of their lives. Mitch Albom