When they handed me my youngest child I remember thinking … by the time this child graduates high school~ I will be 50 years old! At the time, I had six more children waiting at home~ five of them were under the age of ten! I was sure that ’50 years old’ was an eternity away. It wasn’t. This past January, I celebrated my fiftieth birthday and in June I cried to the tune of Pomp and Circumstance as my youngest child graduated high school.
I had flashbacks of my life as I realized this was not only the beginning of the rest of his life… it was the beginning of the rest of mine. I reflected on years of birthdays, and boogers and backpacks. I smiled at memories of first days of school and delighted giggles on Christmas mornings. I remembered Band-Aids and fevers and emergency room visits, and those frightful sleepless nights- with a sick child – when it felt like morning would never come. The memory of chubby little arms around my neck and a soft ‘I love you’at bedtime, brought tears to my eyes. Endless appointments and grocery shopping and the daily what’s for dinner crossed my mind, as well. I recalled the ever elusive lost mitten or shoe on school mornings, as we rushed to get out of the house on time. On such an emotionally charged day, the memory of the nurse placing my newborn son in my arms was almost too much to bear. In little more than the blink of an eye, eighteen years were here and gone.
When I was in the thick of raising seven children, my mother (who also raised 7 of us) used to tell me that it would all go by so fast. It didn’t feel fast back then… it felt like forever! It was fast.
Most of the things that I worried about ~never happened and many things I never even thought of ~ did. I couldn’t fathom how I was going to physically and financially raise seven kids…but it all worked out.
I once posted a Facebook message to my niece in response to a weary parenting post she had made, my response read a little like this blog. She later told me that she printed it out so she could read it on her challenging days and it really helped her (thanks for the inspiration, Jennifer). So, I want to utilize this blog to reach out to young moms who are in the thick of it. I will share my stories in the hopes of easing the young, worried minds of moms out there who are trying to be the best mom and raise the best kids. The best sight is always hindsight and mine is now 20/20.
On my son’s graduation day, I asked myself, “What would you have told your 32 year- old self on the day they handed you your youngest son?” I would have told her that her fifty year- old self sais to relax, take one day at a time, and to sit down and actually eat breakfast with the kids each morning. I would have told her to enjoy every day-and whatever surprise that day brings. I would have said stop worrying-it gives you wrinkles… they all make out okay, they all go to college and not one of them went to kindergarten in diapers.
(special thanks to my sister Kathy for suggesting that I start a blog!)