May 2014 Snuck Up on Me - A Warning from an 8th Grade Parent

Fourteen years ago I gave birth to my oldest child, my son Ryan. Fourteen years ago I knew this month of May 2014 would come, but never really understood how quickly.  When you are caught up in the day to day of life, time flies and years disappear.

When Ryan was born, I remember feeling as if I had left my sense of adventure (let's be honest, what little bit I actually had) at the hospital before I came home.  That first ride home with him, which was a mere 4 miles, was exciting and unnerving.  I sat in the backseat with him and implored my husband to slow down, I think it took us 45 minutes to travel those 4 miles.

The next day, at the first appointment with the pediatrician, he told me that my only job was to keep the baby alive.  I answered kind of incredulously, "Yes, of course."  I mean isn't that a given to "keep the baby alive"?  However, the whole way home and for the next 14 years, I sort of took that statement to heart and likely worried myself through keeping everyone alive.  Sense of adventure, ha, it was gone I had lives to save and people to keep alive everyday!  And, it's hard work and at times exhausting.

I hear moms with young children worrying and saying things that I remember saying and feeling during the baby and toddler years.  I too said things like,  "I just want to shower in peace", "I want to pee alone", "I can't possibly listen to the Wiggles 'Fruit Salad' one more time" or "I want to watch a TV show without a cartoon lead character"!   There were days when I wondered if he would ever let go of my hand, do things without me or sleep in his own bed.

I remember vividly worrying about things like, will we ever stop using a sippy cup, how do we go about stopping the use of the pacifier a.k.a. binky and what if we can't figure out potty training?   One day, as I was tossing more Cheerios into the toilet for him to aim at while learning, my mom had to talk me off the ledge of the potty training cliff.  She stated in all of her grandma wisdom to stop worrying, "He won't be 16 and still in a diaper, he will learn."

When Ryan started pre-school in 2003, he literally kicked and screamed about it for close to week, and I sweated each day and wondered if he would ever enjoy school.  That first week most of us moms didn't travel too far from the parking lot for those couple of hours they were in the building - the 1st time away from us in school.  No one wanted to be too far away, just in case we were needed.

While waiting one morning, one of the moms counted out the years of school in front of us and announced hysterically, that our kids would be graduating 8th grade in the year 2014.  We all laughed aloud and said, "That is so far away" and laughed some more.  Each year we would remind each other, "We are here until 2014", and we would be afresh with laughter!

Well, suddenly, here we are May 1, 2014, with only a handful of days left of 8th grade for our now 14 year olds.  These handful of days left in May are scheduled full of year-end events, banquets, dances and videos.  I think the month is scheduled full to distract us.  Distract us from the inevitable impending ending that is staring us down and the changes that will occur when our kids, most of who have enter that brick building together for the last 11 years, split into several different high schools.  Personally, I am grateful for every bit of those 11 years, that brick building and all the people in it - the friends who have become family and teachers who have touched my son's life.

As, I look back at these fourteen wonderful worry filled years I see that The Wiggles were replace with headphones filled with The Foo-Fighters, sippy cups became Gatorade bottles, pacifiers became guitars and basketballs and of course, my mom was right he did eventually overcome the dependence on diapers.

Now, the thing is, I'm an "older" mom and my "young" mom wishes have come full circle and now I wonder if...he will want to watch TV with me, I will even watch a show with a cartoon lead, will he still want to hold my hand, will he listen to the Foo-Fighters with me over and over and will he always want to do things with me?  So, to the young moms be careful what you wish for, those little things that you might not even realize that you're wishing away, will eventually and naturally change, without warning or want.  Pre-school turns into high school in the blink of an eye, the sip of a sippy cup and as quick as a chorus of "Fruit Salad, Yummy Yummy"!

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