My mommy journey began eighteen years ago. It was really fun to celebrate our firstborn, and to have multiple days last week where we honored him. He is a really fine young man. We had a fancy dinner out with all six of us. (Somebody please congratulate me on the scheduling necessary to carve out a night where there was no band practice, work, church, gymnastics or violin lessons. This season of life is nutty. Also, can somebody please congratulate me on finding clean clothes for each kid, buying a polo shirt for C and picking one he'd like, that fits, without making him try it on?) We shared a meal and enjoyed reflecting on this journey. Then a few days later we had homemade chocolate cake and presents and pigs in a blanket for lunch.
photo credit Rachel Lacy
As I reflected on my son's birthday, I realized that I needed a celebration for me as well. I began my chosen career with this little boy's arrival, and it changed my life forever. I talked about Labor and Delivery over here, but can somebody please validate that his head circumference was roughly the size of a pumpkin?
My mommy journey has included lots of songs and games and quiet moments where we read stories together. It's also included an education in the school of hard knocks. I'm writing these notes for you, little sister. If you reach your biggest kid's eighteenth birthday and think, "Where's my party?" just know that I thought the same thing, too. A playdate at the park with other moms might be enough. Talking to a close friend might help you process this new milestone. Telling your husband to buy flowers and figure out something special, well, that's a good idea too. It's taken me decades to learn that N can't read my mind. And it's taken decades to realize that if I want something, it's good to ask. So I asked him to do something. He found a poem that a local writer shared in the Cross Timbers Gazette. It's called "Just a Stay at home mom," and I love it. He also had the kids sign a card, which I will read at least a dozen more times.
Here's the good news. Eighteen years is just enough to think you're smart, and just few enough to still be confident. I remember when I was eighteen, thinking I was smart at the end of high school and I had NO IDEA how much I didn't know. Maybe when I'm a grandma I'll look back at this phase and smile fondly at the audacity of a mom writing notes for her younger sister, when I'm still learning new things all the time.