Monthly Archives: September 2015

Have Kids, Will…Parent an Adult

Unbelievably to me, my oldest son just turned 18.  This is a huge milestone, mostly because he’s now legally an adult.  An adult!  He can join the military, buy tobacco products, get arrested and put in regular, adult jail (scary!).  He can vote, make a will, sign contracts, get sued, and is eligible for jury duty.  Basically, he now has the legal right to do everything (within the law) except purchase and consume alcohol.  Amazing.  Didn’t I just bring him home from the hospital, in that little infant car seat with the teddy bear print?  Wasn’t it yesterday that I held his chubby little hand as he enthusiastically ran through the doors of his preschool and learned how to count?  And I swear, it was just last night that he cried out from his crib because he had gotten hold of the Vaseline jar from the changing table and smeared it all over his face, the walls, and into his soft, auburn hair.

Having a baby at 22 was the single scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life.  I wasn’t ready.  I knew I wasn’t ready, but…well…these things happen.  And for that, I will be eternally grateful!  He unwittingly introduced me to the art of parenting and, through the ups and downs of being my guinea pig, has been a beacon of light and the source of some of my greatest joy, frustration, and pride.  He is, and always will be, my baby: my sweet, raspy-voiced, precocious, nature-loving, little boy.

As we’re looking at colleges and talking about the next chapter in his life, I can’t help but to become a little wistful.  All those times I felt completely spent after long, exhausting days cleaning up after an active toddler who refused to sleep past 5 a.m., and some older person would see me, haggard and drooping, with my little firecracker in tow, and say, “Enjoy him now.  It goes by quickly,” I would think Yeah, right.  You just forgot how hard this is.  Well, I’m here to tell you, it does indeed go by quickly.  The days are often long, but the years just fly.

I love all my boys more than I ever imagined was possible, and Eli continues to be the guinea pig for my parenting, but what I’ve come to learn and really appreciate is just how fast time does go and how finite our time is to do the best job we can in raising our children.  Being a mom still scares me sometimes, but the love that causes my heart to swell for these wonderfully sweet, funny boys of mine, is so worth that occasional discomfort.  And now that my oldest is an “adult,” I catch myself admiring the young man he has become and think, I did okay.

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Have Kids, Will…Turn the Big 4-0!

I’ve put off writing this post since celebrating my birthday two months ago.  I wanted to give it some thought.  I wanted to marinate in being 40.

Leading up to this age, turning 40 seemed like SUCH. A. BIG. DEAL.  Surprisingly, it wasn’t.  It’s an age I’ve been almost looking forward to.  It’s solid without being weighty.  It’s mature without being old.  It’s middle-age.  But isn’t that the best part of a jelly doughnut: the middle?

To kiss my youth goodbye is a little sad, but the riches I’ve gained through experience and meaningful relationships is what makes getting older golden.  I love my family with a ferocity that I never knew existed until I had kids.  I love and respect my friends for all their differences, their strengths and weaknesses,  their struggles and successes, and their willingness to love me back.

I can’t really write about turning 40, or aging in general, without acknowledging some of the things my girlfriends have said since sliding (tripping?) into middle age, things they never would have uttered at 20:

  • “Is there a bar in this strip mall?”
  • “We need to find a bathroom!  Now!
  •  “I might have to go into that Five & Dime and buy some pants in case I pee mine!”
  • “My butt cheeks are sagging.  I need lifts everywhere.”
  • “Is anyone else finding gray pubic hairs?”
  • “It’s 11 o’clock.  Let’s get a drink now and take a nap later.”

So, in appreciation for all the humor, joy, kindness, and love that are yet to be enjoyed…Cheers!  Here’s to turning 40!  I’m happy to be in the middle of my story because, God willing, I’m just getting to the good part.