Mom instead of Mommy
It's beginning to sink in. But I am only barely coming to terms with it. I am no longer Mommy. I am now Mom - or worse - Mother. We have reached the point that both of our kids are either pre-teen or teen. It's tough. Not just because teenagers can be difficult but because they are almost grown. Almost every mother of a child older than 10 and every single grandmother that I talked too when pregnant for the first time told me to treasure every moment. That they days would fly by and I would look up and they would be grown. I believed them. I had seen first hand how quickly children grow as a baby sitter, teacher, and summer camp preschool worker. So, every time I was awake enough to cherish the moment, I tried. I often prayer, "Lord, help me remember this time right now. Help me remember how it feels to hold this baby to my chest. Help me remember how it feels to hold hands with a bouncing preschooler. Help me remember how it feels to sit with a child in my lap and read." I took pictures. I wrote cute things down in a journal. I stayed beside their beds for hours at a time when they were scared or sad or lonely. And still, still, it went too fast. Way too fast.
Thankfully, there is joy in who they are becoming. Watching them develop their own interests and their own ideas is fascinating. The conversations we have are deeper and about a much wider span of topics. We can do more together. I can share shoes and jewelry with my daughter. Concerts do not involve people dressed up like stuffed animals or animated characters. And everything is easier without car seats and diaper bags! But it is different. I am struggling to know where the boundaries are, struggling to know how much, and when, to push. I struggle with guilt of what I didn't do while they were young and should have. I struggle with how to get through to them when communication seems so difficult. I knew what I was doing when they were little. Well, at least more often than I do now. I had lots of experience and education to help me understand and act accordingly. I'm not at all saying that means I did it well all of the time, just that it was easier. Now, I got nothing.
No, that's not true - I have a God who loves me and my children. I have a Bible that guides me and encourages me. I have a husband who loves me, loves our kids, and helps in every way possible. I have friends who have been there done that and are willing to share advice and encouragement. I have parents and a father-in-law who love on me and my kids. And now, I have a group of mothers to help support and encourage me. Thank God!