A big deal, I know.
We ceremoniously gathered all the remaining pull-ups and said good-bye to them. Wrapped and waiting for the garbage-man to deliver them to their final resting place, Zachary is proud of this acheivement.
But after 22 years and seven children, this final send-off is bitter-sweet.
Where have all my babies gone?
I look around the house and gone are the remnants of babyhood. The cribs and toddler beds have been replaced with bunk beds. Brightly-colored baby toys and coloring books have been replaced with Xbox controllers and game discs. Diapers have been replaced with boxer shorts, and long cuddles with mommy have been replaced by overnights at friends’ houses.
My purse is no longer the black hole of pacifiers, wipes, and toy keys. Instead, I have hand-held games and slips of paper scribbled with other childrens’ phone numbers. While I have gone through the teenage years (my daughter is 22 and my oldest son is 19), I have always had a baby or two that needed to be cared for.
I’ve finally reached the end of having one more “little” to constantly tend to.
All those years that I longed for a full nights’ sleep, a few minutes to myself or an uninterrupted meal, I never thought I would miss the baby-years that consumed all of me.
These days, those much coveted minutes have turned into unknown hours as the boys head off to school in another week. Zachary misses the cut-off for kindergarten by a month, so he’ll only be gone half days to preschool. Still, it’s the last year I’ll have any of my children home during the school day.
For a woman who has spent more than a decade as a stay at home mom, the upcoming years are a scary mixture of unknown re-invention. While I’ll always be a mom, for the first time in years I can start thinking about who else I am.
Occupation: stay at home mom won’t be at the top of my life resume. I will be able to add “In addition to being a mother of 5, I am also a….
… Artist, writer, entreprenuer?”
Maybe “YES!” to all three. For now, I think I’ll focus on the littlest little as he bounces through preschool, preparing to be the last “big-boy” of the house.
Eventually “Occupation: Grandma” will take top honors on my life resume.
Has your life as a mother entered a new era? How do you handle the life transitions as your children grow up? Are you looking forward to adding “Grandma” to your life resume?
Photo credit to http://www.flickr.com/photos/25220549@N05/4311803980/. This photo has a creative commons attribution license.