I tell new mommies (and remind friends who are mommies who haven’t experienced some of the ages and stages of child-rearing that I have) — that parenting is not only a time to watch your child or children develop, but also a time to explore your own self-growth.
I’ve continually learned from my children, even when I was pregnant. A arrived two weeks ahead of schedule, while D decided he was going to make his entrance several weeks later than planned. A good education in the art of flexibility and patience.
As I think about my legacy, being a mom to A and D will always be top on my list of most fulfilling accomplishments. I’ve had other achievements — including graduating from Cornell University, being married to my late husband M for 24 years, having a successful 30+ year corporate career, and writing an award-winning blog during my life after 50 — but none of these experiences are as satisfying or rewarding as being a mom.
When my friends at Midlife Boulevard asked bloggers to participate in a bloghop about memorable motherhood moments, it was easy for me to make a list. I could go on and on, but I thought I would share 28 — in recognition of the 28 years I’ve been a mom. There is no rhyme or reason why I chose these 28, as there are thousands to choose from. I’ll save more for next year.
Here’s a sprinkling:
Moment #1. A is born. (I was a mommy when she popped out of my tummy. Wow-o-wow, what do I do now? How do I learn the art of good parenting? Trial and error?)
Moment #2. D is born. (Second time around D popped out in under an hour. A boy. I gave birth to a boy. Never had boys in my family. What now?)
Moments #3 and #4. A is potty trained and D is potty trained. (Love M&Ms. Goodbye to Pampers. Let the good times roll. More $ for the 529 Plans.)
Moments #5 and #6. A graduates from pre-school. D follows four years later. (No more child care expenses. More $ for summer camp. A little extra $ leftover for the 529 Plans.)
Moments #7 and #8. A finishes 6th grade and heads to middle school. (Stand clear, adolescence ahead. Will I survive?) D finishes 5th grade and moves to middle school. (Baby boy is growing up.)
Moments #9 and #10. The bat and bar mitzvahs. A was 13 going on 20. D was 13 but could hardly reach the bima. Such a proud mama. (Side note: A’s dress was not my favorite. I learned to pick my battles and this was not worth arguing over.)
Moments #11 and #12. The middle school years. Ooh, ooh, ooh, maybe I should forget about the awkward tween years. The body parts shifting, acne breakouts, laughter one day and tears the next. (Wait, am I getting these years mixed with my menopausal moments?)
Moments #13 and #14. The high school years — a combined total of eight. (I felt like I went through high school twice in addition to my own years of schooling.)
Moment #15. Shopping for a dress for A for freshman year dance. (Tough job finding an appropriate dress for a budding body.)
Moment #16. Shopping for a dress for A for sophomore year dance. (Liked this dress from Guess. It was sparkly gold and had a halter top.)
Moment #17. Shopping for a dress for A for junior prom. (This was the absolute best Suzie Wong dress ever and the only reason I spent so much $ on this dress was because I was making up for my least favorite dress from A’s bat mitzvah. Plus, she was able to wear this dress to D’s bar mitzvah. Family and friends didn’t even recognize A’s transformation four years later when she had lost the braces and had a flattering figure with a dress that matched. Go A!)
Moment #18: Shopping for a dress for A for senior prom. (A went red that year with a strapless Tadashi. Not my fave, but as I mentioned previously, you can pick your battles and this wasn’t worth fighting for.)
Moment #19. Dressing D for all his dances and proms was so much easier. Only one deserving moment to capture – his senior prom. That year he forgot to make a tux reservation in advance — which was rather typical of D throughout his high school years. He ended up renting an expensive Ralph Lauren tux since it was the only one left in his size. He looked so handsome in his RL duds. Go D!
Moments #20 and #21. Must not forget their high school graduations. A graduated and left for college. We were half an empty nest. Four years later, D graduated and left for college. The nest was totally empty. (Sadly, my late husband M passed away months before and never saw D graduate from high school or any of the moments afterwards.)
Moments #22 and #23 and #24 and #25. Then came bigger moments. A graduated from college and D graduated four years later. Add in the moments they spent junior semesters abroad in Italy and my two trips to visit. (Did I say I love Italy?)
Moments #26 and #27. Off to the big city. A accepts a job opportunity in NYC. D follows four years later. (Now I can visit NYC, my former home, any time I want to see my two favorite people.)
Moment #28. The 529 accounts are empty. My children have officially launched. I’m retired from my full time job. We are all doing just fine.
“You should get a dog,” said D. “You need someone to take care of,” said A.
“I’m still your mother,” I told them. You are the two children I love and will always love.
Last week, while at my friend’s baby shower I attached myself to her maltese puppy. It was so cute and jumped up to cuddle. Should I get a maltese puppy? Should I? Should I? Should I? Or should I wait for grandkids?
Happy Mother’s Day to all!
P.S.To view the Midlife Boulevard bloghop click here and read about other mom’s memorable moments. It’s fun.