Thursday, December 27, 2012

Mom Milestones and Memories

Being a MOM is one of the greatest privileges on earth. It's work, it's body fluids soiling inconvenient and inappropriate places. It's car seats, strollers, high chairs, constant vigilance. It's also beautiful moments when that baby reaches for YOU, and no one else will do. Feeling a bit nostalgic this morning after having spent a wonderful Christmas week with DataBoy, YogaGirl, and my newest niece, Sunshine.

I also had a surreal afternoon where I felt like a grandma. I went with YogaGirl to visit a long-time friend of hers and her new baby. ( You might recall that I met YG when I was her 7th grade math teacher. It's pretty cool to have her as a sister now, gotta say.) So there I am, with two of my former students, and we're all sitting on the floor playing with their babies. These “girls” I taught and coached and mentored are now moms. Good moms. It was a joy to watch, but wow, time flies. I felt like the grandma – a generation away from these happy women, just starting the journey I've been on for a while.

It's been a journey of many detours and unplanned rest-stops along the way, and of course there were times when I thought I just wouldn't make it. I remember when they were three and five though, quite distinctly. We were done with diapers. SWIM diapers (and their million dollar price tag) AND both boys could hop in the car and buckle their own car seats. I thought to myself, “OK, I think I can actually handle this.” It was a good feeling.

Having spent eight years teaching teenagers, I looked forward to when they'd be independent to a greater extent, and to be quite honest, not need so much “hands-on” care. I couldn't have been more wrong. They need me now more than ever, and it's remarkable that they WANT me around. They ask for advice. They ask questions – the kind that many parents dread hearing. But I answer. I have one who wants every possible detail, and one who will say. “STOP! I don't want to know anymore!” There are teachable moments. There are frustrating moments. And now, we've added a new element. The truly terrifying, “We could die a fiery death!” moments.

Jake got his driver's permit. Talk about feeling old! It's so strange to sit in the passenger seat while YOUR SON, whom you used to buckle into a car seat, operates the vehicle. He's actually a very good driver, and wisely, The Engineer took him around the first month, “Honey, you just can't handle it yet, I know how you are.” We finally got the go-ahead for me to supervise, and we drove to Blockbuster. But we forgot the other stop - tortillas.

This is when I realized the best part of having a teen driver. You see, I'd already gotten into my pajamas as soon as we got home, and we were settling in for family movie night. I lamented the need to change to do that last errand. But there's no need! Teen drives to tortillaria, teen gets out of car, Mom stays inconspicuous in the car in her PJ's. Life is Good.

~ Tina

P.S I don't remember where I heard this quote, but it was probably in Mom's Group.

The days will be long, but the years are short.”

Amen to that.


JoJo said...

It was the bodily fluids inconveniently soiling things that kept me from having kids. That and many, many other reasons. I'm 48 and I have never once changed a diaper. Fortunately my fiance's children are in their early 20s. At least I get to be a stepmom, and probably a grandmother in the future. But I'm still not changing diapers.

Brian Miller said...

ha pretty cool to gain a chaefeur eh? someone to run the errands...hmmm...still got a few years til that point in day...

loverofwords said...

You still sound up-beat, Tina, despite having some health set-backs over the past year. These years while your family is still at home, are special.

klahanie said...

Dear Tina,

A warm, varied emotion and reflective posting.

I know that being a "Mum" (British spelling) is a treasured gift you share with your loved ones.

Continue to embrace those positive possibilities in your life, complimented with some delightful humour :)

In peace and kind wishes, your way,


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You've obviously had a huge impact on your kids, and a positive one.
Still pass on the body fluids though...

Jenny said...

It's like being in the Army.

The toughest job you'll ever love!

It's never easy when your heart is beating outside your chest, is it?

Great post.

Unknown said...

What a great post! I'm fairly embarrassed when I think of how much I used to *think* I knew way back when. And I certainly feel like I know even less now, at times anyways.....thanks for the post!!

Amanda Lee said...

Great post! I'm pretty sure it wasn't me who said that(it must have been someone much wiser than me) -- my quote was "it's not the years, it's the miles...".

Jenn ├čritton said...

Speaking of bodily fluids....I think your kids deserve an award for most car vomit. I of course have my own theory on why this was the case: the human body can only handle so much milk before it says "ENOUGH!! ".

Jo said...

I too wasn't enamoured of the body fluids part so ended up with a second husband who had two kids of his own. They were beyond diapers too and I didn't spend a great deal of time with them as they stayed with their mum. Then we emigrated.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina .. loved this thought .. the PJs to the store ... and I remember those days always happy to drive and jump in and out to collect things.

Great story ... and yes "the days will be long, but the years are short" -

Have a wonderful year ahead - Hilary