Last month, I was running late, per usual to get to my son’s speech at the living rosary. I briefly got a glimpse in the rearview mirror of my minivan and had a startling revelation. My baby is growing up.
It seems like just yesterday I was chasing his wild self all over Julifs park, and today he is speaking at school mass. I had two kids under two, life was a little chaotic, and I used to cringe when people would say, “It goes by so fast.” But here I am, sitting in traffic, trying to cover up my crow’s feet and style my mom hair to get to another one of my kid’s school events and on the verge of tears.
I have a 4th grader and 2nd grader, no more babies – my heart breaks for that. No more kindermusik, Doc McStuffins, sippy cups and no more stroller! Moms trust me when I say YOU WILL MISS THE STROLLER. School-aged parenting can be summed up in one word, chaotic.
My kids have a plethora of school events, sports and playdates to fill up the google calendar in a heartbeat. I switched jobs after 14 years, to be able to attend as many of these events as possible. I make less money, I work more days, but when the teacher sends a note home on Monday that the talent show is on Friday, I can make it.
When my kids were little, I was in charge of the day to day schedule; I decided when we would eat dinner, now soccer practice determines that. Playdates were last minute with our best friends who didn’t care that I had not showered.
We are a couple weeks into summer, my most favorite time of year. Our Google calendar is slowing losing repetitive events. Baseball season is coming to an end, and we have the whole summer to spend together. My beloved Honda just clicked over to 150,000 miles, in the past 7 years we have had lots of fun adventures. Day trips to Cosi, Indianapolis Museum, Kings Island, Stokes Berry Farm, Youngs Dairy, Hocking Hills, Smale Park, Coney Island, Cincinnati Nature Center and so much more.
We make a bucket list every year of things we want to do. Although, this year I have noticed that something has changed. Our bucket list includes all the regular summertime events and then they say with a friend. Have a picnic with Lucy’s family, go to Coney with Anna, Nature Center with Quinton, McHarpor Manor slime day with EK, so on and so forth. I love that my kids are developing lasting friendships. We as parents are meeting some amazing people, too. But, summer is my time.
This stage of parenting is not something I prepared for; in a split second, I could become the second choice. Coordinating a playdate nowadays is like an intense game of candy crush, everything has to line up perfectly.
Being a mom is the greatest thing in the world to me. I strive to provide them with a childhood filled with wonderful memories and experiences. Some have said I may even overly entertain them, so this year I vowed to have some downtime, too. We brainstormed a list of things to do if they were “bored.”
As a sat in traffic that day, frantically trying to cover my wrinkles, I realized I look older, and in the blink of an eye, my kids are older. They are turning into their own people. I do not want to miss a moment; I hear it goes by fast.