When I was a kid and people asked me what I wanted “to be” when I grew up, I always just said a wife and mother, but it seemed they always asked about what career I wanted. To me, that was so incredibly secondary to what I REALLY wanted to be that it didn’t seem worth mentioning. So to say that marrying my high school sweetheart and becoming a mother was amazing to me, would be putting it mildly. I’m living my childhood dream. THIS is what I wanted TO BE when I grew up.
I loved being pregnant. I loved having a newborn. I loved chunky baby thighs and watching them become more aware of their surroundings. I loved having a toddler that said the cutest little words and laughed at my funny faces. I loved watching them learn to read and write and really start to express themselves. I loved when they learned to ride a bike, cook food in the microwave, and master so many “big kid” skills. I loved when they started choosing their own hairstyles and buying clothes they liked (although sometimes I questioned those choices!).
Here’s the thing: I have seriously loved all those stages, but I don’t want them back. I feel as if I am supposed to constantly mourn their younger stages. As a Mom, I’m supposed to always say how fast they are growing and that I want them to stop and stay little forever.
But now I have teenagers. They smell weird most of the time and eat every snack food in the house. They sleep long hours and get attitudes on the regular. I still love spending time with them now too. Talking, laughing, playing games or enjoying the outdoors. I love it. They are 12- and 14-years-old. We have great conversations. We tell jokes or discuss world events. I’m not saying that the teenager in them doesn’t come out pretty frequently too, but overall, I really enjoy them at this stage too.
And don’t get me wrong, I sometimes reminisce about different stages and how I loved each one. But the new adventures and the changes we are all going through as a family with “older” kids? Those are pretty fantastic too. I really, really enjoy my family now and I look forward to the milestones we will hit together.
I can’t wait for high school (this school year) and driving, and college, and all the wonderful memories that a childhood almost complete brings. I can’t wait to see what my kids choose for careers and the spouses they choose. One day, I’ll even be ready to be a Grandma (but after several years as empty-nesters first, I hope).