Ihave three children. Two of my daughters are young women so you would think by round three I’d be ready for this whole growing up thing. The truth is, I’m having a harder time with my last baby girl getting big. It seems like yesterday she was only two and now she’s ten. When did she get so tall? Seriously, why does she need a razor and deodorant? Why can’t she just stop and stay here, little with me, for ever and ever?
I will say, the beauty of being at home with her is I know what’s coming. I know what matters this time. With my other two daughters I was always so intense and on top of things. I worried way more and tried to control them, their choices, and everything else they did. I can see now that it is like trying to control the ocean. I relax more with this last little girl. I also watch her more and am hugely patient with her because I know how fast this time will fly by. I am aware that all the little sounds, songs and stories will stop soon. Hours and hours of hamster talk is a gift, because soon she’ll be telling her stories to someone else, and our house will be absent of them.
I recently read an article about Rob Lowe and how he felt about his son going off to college. He said, “There is a little of that sense memory at play too, a feeling that I’m about to be left out of important events, separated from life as I know it, the world as I love it.” I’ve never read a better description of how it feels when our children leave home. We are not loosing them but there really is a piece of their lives that we will never be a part of again. There are things about them I will never know or be involved in. After eighteen to twenty years of being involved in almost everything they do, all of the sudden, we aren’t. We just aren’t. I keep remembering how I felt about my parents at the same age and I know I will never be to my children what they are to me. We can’t be. As parents, many of us live for our children, but they don’t live like that for us, it’s not natural for them. It makes me think of when my girls would say, “Mommy, I love you more than you love me…” We would go back and forth saying, “no, I love you more…” to each other. We all know they couldn’t possibly.
So, the task at hand for me over the next 8-10 years is to drink in every moment with Emma, my baby, while building up my own life and future. It’s my time to expand and bloom as a woman with more than motherhood on my calendar. Its time to build a different life, as I know it and love it.