Those moms in the check-out line were right
We all remember them. The older women who stopped you in the grocery store, imploring you to savor every moment of your child’s life right when they were screaming in the shopping cart, trying to grab one of those gigantic candy bars strategically lining the check-out line.
“It goes so fast,” they tell you, with a knowing look. “One minute they are a baby and then they are going off to college.”
I always wanted to load my wailing child into those women’s cart for them to savor as they just tried to get through the grocery store so they would have food for dinner and toilet paper.
But, they were right. Time does go faster than you can ever believe…
In less than a month, my baby will graduate from high school. I vividly remember when he first stood, crawled and walked which I am now realizing has all been a progression of him moving away.
Reading back through my journals I found this entry below written before he was born. I was recounting a conversation with one of my best friends, Joanie, a seasoned mother of three, who was talking about the process of becoming a mother, allaying my fears of being responsible for another human being.
“It is the fear that haunts me the most - that I can’t be trusted to take care of anyone else.”
Eighteen years later, I still worry and constantly feel like a new mom as we enter each new parenting phase. There are so many firsts and unknowns with parenting– I just got comfortable with my son driving a car and now he is driving away in a car to live in another state.
I am so excited for him to experience college, but nostalgic and sad, because I am going to miss him, and this chapter of him living at home.
We were recently reminiscing about his childhood and out of nowhere he complimented me on my parenting style, telling me I was strict on the right stuff while giving him a lot of freedom. It is what I always wanted to hear, that validation I craved. Of course, I couldn’t just enjoy the sentiment, and let the goodwill radiate between us. Instead, I turned into a weepy mess, and started oversharing about how being a mom was the thing I most wanted to be good at…
“It just went so fast,” I told him.
“Well, it didn’t go fast for me,” he said, breaking the spell, and making me laugh out loud.
My children always make me laugh and keep me humble, which is what I am going to miss most.
Incidentally, I have become that mom who smiles knowingly and tells younger mothers with babies to savor the moment, but not at the grocery store. Nobody wants to savor that.
Happy Mother’s Day!
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