May 25 2012
I am reflective this week, you’re warned. You’re welcome. Yesterday I was pulling my hair out and stressed out beyond belief because that baby up there and his little sister have had me hopping for the last two weeks. Non stop go, go, go… I was tired and stressed and ready to be done with the running from one school to the other and one conference to the other. Then it happened…
Yesterday? That baby graduated from 6th grade. He goes to middle school next year (7, 8, 9 here for those who start at 6th grade) and he’s not a baby any more. He’s a full on tween running head long in to teenager. His voice is changing, he stinks like a teenage boy, and he’s not that baby any more. Where did the time go?? Yet I was still frazzled and a little hurried and a little annoyed with all of the running because there were other things I had to do, and then I realized… I don’t HAVE anything else I HAVE to do. I HAVE to be right there with him. I HAVE to run from his graduation straight to his sister’s school to grab her to take her to dance and I HAVE to then come home, enjoy dinner with my kids and my husband, give baths, snuggles that only one of them wants anymore, and then put them to bed so I can start today out with my son going off to a field trip in another state with his 6th grade class and then go to his sister’s talent show (that she backed out of because she’s got somewhat of a crippling shyness, but it’s all about the solidarity) and then pick them both up and go to my baby cousin’s graduation party. As I sat in the dance studio last night waiting for Elizabeth’s class to finish up I started reflecting on something my grandma said at Joey’s graduation. She said “I miss this, this running all of the time to everything going on”. Two things struck me just then.
#1. She’s right! Eventually I won’t have anywhere to run. What will I do then??
#2. They were the only great grandparents there which is both awesome and sad.
Awesome because they never miss anything the kids have going on or one of us has going on unless it conflicts with something another of us has going on. Sad because other kids there either don’t have great grandparents in their lives anymore or never did, don’t tell them about things like graduation, have great grandparents unable to physically attend things like graduation, or have great grandparents who don’t attend their graduations from the 6th grade. That’s another post for another time, but I had to touch on it so you could understand why I am reflecting.
So, for two weeks I have been slowly wishing the time away, ready for school to be over so I can stop running to two schools all of the time, ready for a Summer off from the things we have to do and then I realized I’ve probably been wishing that time away for even longer than two weeks but definitely in the last two weeks I have been, and in doing so I was rushing time that I will never get back. Some day I will be out of places to go, hockey practices to run to, dance lessons to run to, school programs to run to, and graduations to run to. Some day it will be just Joe and I and we’ll be looking for ways to fill our time because our kids will be too busy living their own lives and too (God willing) able to do so, to need us to run them. In just a little over 2 years that baby up there will be getting his learner’s permit and in a little over 3 years he will be getting his driver’s license and driving himself closer and closer to that point when he no longer needs me to run and then what will I do? I can’t answer that question today. I can tell you this, I am going to hold on tighter for as long as I can, and slow down (metaphorically speaking) and enjoy the running because the time is fast approaching that I won’t have anywhere to run and that thought scares me to death. They label it now, we have helicopter parenting vs. free range parenting and so on… In the end it’s all just parenting and while I probably fall in to the helicopter category much more than I do the free range category, so did my grandmother and my mother and they now sit next to me with nowhere to run most days and I didn’t realize they were pining for those days of running and wanting to pull their hair out when they couldn’t be two places at once. If that’s what it means to want to hold on a little tighter a little longer and enjoy the run then you can call me whatever you want to call me, but I hope when it’s all said and done I will feel content that I ran enough to broaden their horizons and while I held on a little tighter, a little longer, I was also letting go so they could become the independent people I see them becoming each day, but they will still be calling me to invite me to their child’s 6th grade graduation and while they’re rushing and frazzled with all of the running… I can tell them to slow down and enjoy it while it lasts because it goes by in the blink of an eye and you don’t want to miss a single minute of the ride.
Congratulations Bubba we couldn’t be more proud to call you our son and to spend our time running all over the place with you!!