I’m in serious trouble.
Any of you who have graced me with your online presence by reading these posts know by now I have five kids.
My clan ranges from a 6-year-old kindergartner to a graduating senior. Yes, I said a graduating senior, as in high school.
That’s where my troubled story begins. No, it’s not that my child is wayward. She’s a really good kid truth be told.
No, she has not joined the Moonies or any other weird cult except if they have one for slobs. That one she could join with most other 18 year olds I suppose.
The trouble is far more simple.
She’s leaving us! She is headed off to Bucknell University in the fall to run cross country and study math, science or whatever else strikes her fancy (and hopefully garners her a paying job in four years time.)
The impact is really just beginning to set in. Lately, little events have come up (Mother’s Day, her brother’s birthday, the final track meet of the season) and either Haley or one of us has suddenly realized … she won’t be with us when we have the event next year.
She’s going to college.
It’s still hard to type the words. You see, Haley and I have been together a while now – 18 years, 5 months and 15 days to be exact.
They say it goes by fast and I am here to tell you they are right!
Just yesterday this beautiful baby girl was born all pink and perfect. (She really was perfect because No. 2 and No. 4 were not so pink and perfect upon entry. So I speak the truth.)
For five whole years it was Haley, her dad and me – doing it all. I made her adorable sweatshirts for every holiday, sent out volumes of photos to friends and grandparents, went for many a run together in the jogger, dressed like twins occasionally and more.
Just yesterday I had to take her to the hospital for her first stitches because she got pushed down at daycare. Last week I dropped off on her first day of Kindergarten.
She could not be swayed out of her pink tutu, work boots and jean shirt. (She insisted. I resigned.)
Twelve years ago she and her little buddy Dan watched from the grass in awe as a neighbor’s daughter got whisked to the prom in a fancy limo. My friend Cathy and I both said aloud “I can’t imagine the day when these two kids will go to a prom.”
The prom came and went last year and I had a flashback to that very day and called Cathy to reminisce. We both cried.
It’s not that I’m one of those over protective moms. I pride myself on how independent my kids are.
On one hand, I’m excited to see her go and start this new chapter. I hope her roommate is a slob too, but mostly I worry I’m not done with the instruction manual yet.
In the pie of life, this slice can’t possibly be gone. But here it is in front of me so I’m really going to savor the last crumbs this summer. Some people cry at the drop of a hat. I’m not one of them, but I’m not sure how I’m going to make it through the graduation ceremony on June 3 given that I was crying at the Zach and Cody Graduation Special on Disney Channel last week!
So, my advice – as you sit and tear your hair out when your 4 year old has a special meltdown in aisle 3 – is to savor it all. This too shall pass and boy oh boy, it passes fast! One down, four to go!
So I will be the first to admit that I’ve had some great Mother’s Days and some not so great ones. I’ve been a mom for 18 years and have 5 kids with not a shy one in the bunch! This year can be filed in the letdown category. I guess maybe it starts with the fact that the vision in my head never quite turned into the reality on the day. In my head/dream…I saw myself lying on a beach ALONE, with a great new book (that was not business based). I was holding a cold beverage and nobody was bothering me….all day. My cell phone never rang, nobody asked what I was making for dinner and my family, much as I love them, was nowhere to be seen. The laundry was completely done by the kids with care and was carefully put away without the usual negative fanfare. And the dishes, how merry, there were none to be seen. The dishwasher was loaded by the smiley faced teen.
Well, in reality, I went to a Bloggy Boot Camp seminar all day on Saturday. Excellent opportunity for the family to make my dream a reality right? I suspect the kids were lined up for chores and dispersed to “clean” certain areas of the house by dad. Yes, the house was sparkling when I returned home…it was actually a little on the eerie side. Upon closer examination, (and opening drawers and doors) I realized they just hid stuff, dumped clothes in the laundry room, and carted my sacred piles off to parts unknown! The glamour of a sparkling house was killed as a feeling of annoyance took over. Still, I smiled and praised them for their hard work, so as not to be portrayed as ungrateful. For the next week I had to wash laundry that I’m quite sure was clean, but just got dumped into rooms and then into laundry bins, had to search endlessly for misplaced items and had to re-create my piles counter; the place where I know just where my items are and they are there for a reason!
What I learned from this? Next year, I will either book myself a room with a few girlfriends at a spa or I will clearly spell out what I want my day to look like to the family in advance. Clearly, my husband does not possess the gift of mind reading, nor do any of my 5 kids. I know they attempted to clean the house for me, but the truth is, my husband prefers a spotless house more than I do so he got his wish. I can’t stand a messy sink or piles of laundry, of which I got both. I love being a mom, but having an expectation of a day and then living the reality of a very different day is a letdown.
Moms – do yourself a favor…spell out what you want if you have a vision for a day/event. I have learned this already because at Christmas every year my kids always chuckle when they see a certain box labeled “TO: Mom FROM: Mom.” When they hand it to me I always say “Just what I wanted!” Spell out what you need mom- you’ll get more help and a happier day! Enjoy these Flower Pot Treats the kids at Hooray for Books made for their moms. You could make them for any special occasion!Comments Off