Saturday, April 15, 2017

14 years

I have been a mom for 14 years, in fact it has been 14 years 4 months and 18 days. Some days I can't believe it has been that long and other days I feel like I have been a mom forever. My youngest just turned 2 years old 3 months ago. Since Brendan is disabled and requires a ton of assistance I have never had a break from dressing/bathing/toileting etc. I have been changing diapers/wiping butts for 14 years! I have been trick or treating, finding Easter attire, baking cookies for Santa and watching my children eat a mere few bites of their Thanksgiving meal for 14 years. I have been holding hands, carrying children on my hip along with a purse and diaper bag, pushing strollers and acting silly just for smiles and laughter for 14 years. I have had kids at the same school for 7 years and the rest of them will attend the same school for another 8 years. That is 15 years of going to parent teacher conferences at the very same school. This often astounds us. I have been taking little kids on walks in a wagon for 14 years. I have been sitting on the floor getting little kids dressed, tying shoes over and over again, holding a child in the pool and calling my mom with questions because she is a nurse for 14 years. I have heard the word 'mom' and answered more questions that I could possibly imagine over the last 14 years, actually a bit less since Brendan couldn't speak for the first few years. I have held a crying child, given kisses and found ice packs, checked temperatures, driven hours upon hours to doctor appointments and have worried endlessly for 14 years. I have helped hide teeth under pillows, held their hands or more like entire bodies for immunizations and watched nervously as my children learn to cross the street by themselves.

Sometimes it feels like an eternity especially when I realize we still have another 16 years of raising our children. In 16 years they will all have reached adult hood. Funny thing is that we will most likely have grandchildren by then as the older two will be 28 and 30 years old. Some days it feels like it will never end. I want to be done with changing diapers and not have to navigate through gates on the stairs while lugging down 4 baskets of laundry. I want to move on from this stage which is full of sippy cups, cutting grapes and freaking out while they run around a playground. On the weekends I want to watch the news instead of the same toddler television shows and to listen to the stereo while driving instead of hearing the same movie over and over. Some days I don't want to be exhausted after an extremely busy day and yet still have to bring two children upstairs, change them into pj's, brush their teeth, tuck them into bed and then run up and down the stairs another 3 times before they are finally asleep. It is 8:18 pm right now and I have already been up twice. But most of the days I don't want them to grow up at all. Most days the future scares me to death. Most days I rather them stay little then be learning how to drive or to leave an empty room behind to attend collge. Most days I want to stay right where we are and take care of them forever. Most days but certaintly not every day!

I love watching my kids grow. I love watching them learn new skills. I love hearing their adorable laughs. I love when they run up to give me a big hug and kiss even if they catch me off guard and knock me over while picking something up off the ground. I love seeing their infectious smiles over something so trivial. I love hearing "I love you mommy, your the best mommy in the whole world". I love going on walks with all 5 with some on a tricycle, others on skates and one still in a wagon happy as can be. I love hearing them learn to count for the first time, repeat funny phrases or sing along to popular songs. I love watching the older siblings play with the younger siblings or take on a parental role without me even asking. I love it all, every single phase, and I know one day I will miss all of this. One day they will be all grown up. One day they won't need me to kiss them better. One day they won't need me to make them a birthday cake. One day this house will be quiet, too quiet. One day life will be completely different than what I have grown accustomed to over the last 14 years.

I don't always like seeing my son grow up before my eyes. I don't like that my oldest is turning 15 this year, how can that even be happening? I don't like watching my 12 year old step daughter transform into a woman. I don't like having discussions about alcohol and drinking and driving. I don't want to lay in bed wondering when they will be home. I don't even know how I will survive their teenager years and they are already upon us. Maybe I will just keep enjoying these innocent days because before I know it I will have (hopefully) survived 16 years of raising teenagers!

I do look forward to being able to think for a full 5 minutes without being interupted. I look forward to not procrastinating at making a phone call because I never have a moment to myself. I look forward to not always being exhausted. I do look forward to being able drive in the car without Nemo playing on my stereo for the 100th time. I look forward to not wanting everything to be just right but often failing at making it so. I look forward to sleeping all night long and even past 7 am once in a while. I look forward to being done with changing diapers and adding to the landfill. I look forward to wanting to go somewhere and just grabbing my keys and head out the door. I look forward to many things but I will never wish my children's live's away because these moments are precious and I will enjoy my 30 years of it! I may be exhausted, I may get tired of the same monotonous daily tasks, I may dislike the 7 weekly loads of laundry but I love my family. They make me smile and laugh and they are the ones that make this life all worth it!

14 years down and 16 more to go! I got this!

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