Reflective Mama {hold me}

by | Sep 1, 2011 | Parenting/Family | 26 comments

Oh people.

Can I just be real for a minute? Or lots of minutes. Say, 800 words or so…

I am having a hard time with this whole “kids growing up” thing.

WHO KNEW? Isn’t this what we want?

Since my oldest was born… I have been waiting for the independence.

I have been waiting for the full-night’s sleep.

Waiting to give the diaper bags to Goodwill.

Waiting for the booster seat and the self-buckling.

Waiting for the time I could leave them home while I run to get bread or eggs or milk…

The time has come.

All those parents back-then who said, “Your day will come. Hold onto these days with your little ones… Don’t wish them away…” They were spot-on.

For me, parenting the littles was very hard… From post-partum to simple personality complexities to the breasts that refused to make enough milk, to all the not sleeping.

And let’s not forget about the judgment of others.

That was a lot of fun.

I do love babies. I adore the pure delight found in toddlers and preschoolers… but I will admit I am not as much of a baby person as I thought I would be. And I had 3 babies.


But here I am. Alive. Standing on the other side of diapers and bottles and car seats and strollers.

Crying as I type.

I miss the special sweetness of that season. For so long, It – that season – was my entire existence. And flash… IT is gone.

I don’t miss the strong, determined pull of a 4 year-old will, nor the thing that a mom’s heart does when her newborn is crying at the checkstand because he/she is hungry AGAIN and heavenhelpmeIjustneedtobuysomebananas.

I remember one day a man who had 5 kids that were in their older stages, saw me distraught in the grocery store. My 3 littles tearing at my patience, soul and physical balance. Over the chaos he handed me a bouquet of flowers and said, “My wife has been in your shoes and I know how much it means to her to have others tell her she is doing a good job and she will make it… You are doing a great job Mom, and you are going to make it.”

I wept then and I weep now. Poor mamas…

I remember the anxious times like they were yesterday, yet can barely remember the sweet times – except for pictures. The memories are foggy yet vivid…

Like it was yesterday, I remember watching a friend through a window… walking my newborn son around outside. She got him to stop crying. Finally… Why couldn’t I get him to stop crying?

12 years ago.


Tonight I stand in the doorway of a new era. My littlest will soon be in school all day. The oldest is entering middle school.

Lucy and I have had mornings and/or afternoons all to ourselves for years. Who will beg me for chocolate milk at one in the afternoon and bring the fixin’s to me in my bedroom? No princess movie for the 3rd time in a row to have to mentally block out… and no little girl to eavesdrop and peek on as she spins in her princess costume while we wait for brother and sister to get home from school.

chocolate milk


And then, then, THEN….

The thought of middle school?


I have great fear. I am thinking having a 4 year old might have been easier.

My son is great. I mean, the boy is all I could have hoped for in a son. But I have fear… the influences, the hurts, the internal moral pulls he will have to face… THE HOMEWORK.

I do think our kids have it harder than we did… so much access to so many things before the time is right. It sucks because I want to fight to protect him, but need to let him spread his wings and develop the skills to stand on his own. To stand in his own conviction… but there are so many threats to his heart.

Oh my stinkin’ heck. Friends! It was easier to protect him when he was 4!

Dog gone it.

“The books” can’t prepare us. What to expect? Expect it will be nothing like you’ve read. Yet it will. Kind-of.

The slow-reveal for me is… it gets different. Not easier. And probably harder…


Except for this “sweet spot” between 7 and 11. Oh have mercy on my soul. My middle is right there now. Best. Season. Ever.


I don’t know.

I know nothing.

Except I know need to stop looking so far ahead. And I need to stop looking back… wishing I’d not wished those small years away quite so much.

But man. Were they hard. And wonderful.

And really, how do we really know how wonderful something wonderful is unless we have been to the depths of NOT wonderful?

I have been there and have done that. It would appear there is more been there and done that to do.

Am I crazy?

Don’t answer that.


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