While watching my daughter swim from the shores of Costa Rica a few weeks ago, I caught a glimpse of her profile that transported me back in time to when she was little. She was wearing French braids just like she often had when I used to do her hair. A wave of nostalgia washed
over me. I was flooded with memories of being a new mom. There was that recollection of a certain middle of the night feeding, holding her, a (not so) tiny baby in which I cherished the quiet. It was just me and her and all was peaceful. I had wanted to be a mom my whole life and here I was, finally at 37, a mom. It was surreal and wonderful.
While I always wanted to be a stay at home mom, and for the most part I was glad that I was able to, because not all who want to be can, I found it at times to be isolating and lonely. That really caught me off guard. However, it makes sense. For many years I had a great career and really enjoyed my coworkers. My love language is quality time and I really missed the camaraderie of other adults. Cooing at my sweet little ones didn't quite have the same effect. I wanted to be able to coo and have adult conversation as well but it became complicated.
Another precious memory is having my toddlers crawl into bed for snuggles in the early morning. I will always hold those lingering moments before we had to get out of bed very dear to my heart. It was a regular occurrence well into the tween years. In fact the youngest has been known to crawl into bed with me when I've been sick. I thought it very empathetic of him until he confessed he was hoping to get sick as well in order not to have to go to school! The other day he asked his dad to teach him how to shave. I am not a teary eyed kind of person but that caught me right in all the feels.
There has been much laughter in our house. There have also been tears and exhaustion as their developing wills stretched and threatened my parenting skills. The stages of growth and development have been like the ebb and flow of the tides. Sometimes the surf was calm, at others it came crashing in, feeling like I was going to drown. But here I am, standing on the brink of the oldest's18th birthday next week. She will be an adult. She will always be my little girl but I am so proud of the young woman she has become in spite of and because of me.
I have enjoyed all the stages of their development but not really missing the previous ones. We are soon to move on to a different stage and it will be very different. I have a feeling its going to be very quiet. I think I am going to start missing all the stages that I haven't missed before. And for not being a teary eyed kind, my vision is suddenly kind of blurry!