I Blinked

When I wake up tomorrow morning, I will be the mother of a 16 year old boy.  This isn’t the first child in my house to turn 16.  It is, instead, my last.  Yes, my baby turns 16 tomorrow.  “Big” birthdays like this tend to make me reflective.  So bear with this sentimental mom as she waxes a bit nostalgic.

Children have made me so much more aware of the fact that life is full of phases. They’ve also made me aware of how quickly time passes.  The first day of school, the first “teen” birthday, first dates, first dances, entering middle school, entering high school . . . these events and so many more give us pause and make us reflect on the rapid passing of time.  With each of my kids, these events have had an impact on me and my awareness of just how quickly the days are running away.  But I am still a little surprised by how intensely I am impacted by the “lasts” – the last 16th birthday, the last “first day of high school”, the last . . . you get the idea.

My baby turns 16 tomorrow and my oldest turns 21 in August.  Talk about two biggies close together!  My oldest has been out of high school 3 years now and my second born starts her sophomore year of college in the fall.  Child number 3 is a High School Senior this year – with all of the “extra” activity such an important year brings – and the youngest will be a Sophomore in High School.

When I read over the previous paragraph, I think to myself ‘How on earth did that happen? Just yesterday, I was bringing my youngest home from the hospital, right?’ I blinked and my four children five and under now range from 16 – 21.  One more blink and my husband and I will be the only two living in our house. So I will cherish every silly moment with my kids, every goofball conversation we have, every random outburst of singing that occurs, every argument over who the best superhero is . . . all of the craziness that is a part of our family.  I will cherish the insanity of graduation festivities this year, knowing I only have to deal with it once more before I’m done with it forever.

And you’ll understand, won’t you, if I try not to blink!

Somewhere, Miles Away . . .

. . . my oldest child has found a job in a VERY large city and is making friends.  Oh, and there’s this boy she kind of seems to like too!

. . . my baby sister and my niece are both expecting baby number three (a boy for my sister, a little girl for my niece).  Both of them have lost pregnancies (a few each) so the fact that we are down to counting DAYS is so exciting!

. . . my other sister has been learning to deal with the diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder for one of her sons.  It’s fantastic to finally have answers and therapy in place, but this big sister wishes she could be there to in person to cheer family on, offer a shoulder to cry or an ear to vent to!

. . . my aunt continues her battle against cancer.  Keep fighting, Carol!

. . . former students of mine are getting engaged, getting married, and having babies.  And I hope they know how flattered this former teacher of theirs is that they bother to keep in touch even if it is just through  quick facebook chats now and then!

. . . friends are doing the “every day” stuff of life probably not as aware as they should be that I miss them terribly!

I could go on.  But I hope you get the idea.  Numerous people who are forever in my heart are many miles away from me.  I wish I could set down for coffee (or something stronger?!) with all of them and simply hear what is going on in their lives; the good, the bad, the ridiculous, the amazing and the ugly.  They left a piece of themselves with me when circumstances forced us to part ways and, because of them, “I have been changed for good.”