so many times when our children are young, we think to ourselves
"I can't wait until...."
they sleep through the night
they can use a sippy cup
they start walking
they are potty trained
they go to school
until that day comes along and we quickly realize just how fast time flew by
then we wish we could turn back the hands on the clock and wish our children to be little again.
it's not easy...this thing called parenting.
watching our children grow older and learning how to live without us, realizing that the crutch that we consider ourselves is no longer needed as much. and even though it hurts and we know they will make mistakes, poor choices and the like, we must let them go.
two years ago, amanda went off and flew our nest by going to college.
damn did we all miss her.
last may, she moved into her own apartment.
a few weeks ago she turned 20.
again, i say...where did that time go?
i cannot stress enough how proud we are of her.
this is a 20 year old kid, who when she was 16 went out and got a job on her own
went off to school on scholarships, that she researched and made sure to apply for on her own
that found an apartment and saved up the deposit, the first and last month's rent all on her own
who pays her own bills every month, always on time.
paid for her own car and pays for her own car insurance
buys her own groceries
has held down the same job for over 3 years
knows exactly what she wants out of life, including her career and she plans for it and makes it happen all on her own.
when i was 20, i was married and pregnant with her....but, i think i knew way less about life than she does. i thought i knew, but looking back i didn't. does that mean i would change things....no way. my life turned out pretty great in spite of the mistakes and things i did.
anthony graduated high school last year, and he took a year off to work and save some money.
is that a decision that his dad and i agreed with...not really, but he needed to find his way, just like his sister did.
and while, he lives at home, he works full time, saves his money, buys his own food and entertainment, his own clothes and shoes, paid for his car and his insurance.
this fall, he is going to college. he decided what he wants to do and he is making plans to follow through. so far, i think he is choosing to stay nearby.
i know one day, my children aren't going to be as near to me....they will choose colleges or jobs in other states. they will raise families and go to work and live their lives.
as much as i would love to bottle them up and keep them on a shelf and never let them go, i know they will leave.
as much as i would love to buy a huge parcel of land and build a compound and make everyone live on it or close by. i know they won't...it's just wishful thinking on my part.
i dream of big family dinners on sundays with my children and their children....squeezing around dining room and kitchen tables. i dream of big family thanksgivings and christmases. i dream of seeing my grandchildren grow up before my eyes and not through photographs.
but i know that deep down life isn't always like that.
and as heart wrenching as it is...i know that i will eventually have to let them all go.
just how do those momma birds push their babies from the nests and watch them fly away?
all you can really do is pray you did the right things, made the right decisions, taught them well, and loved them through it all.
and just let go.
and let them fly.
no one ever said parenting was easy.
but here's a little secret....
no matter how old they get
or how far away they go
you will always be their mom
and they will always be your child
that job you started all those years ago, when you looked into those precious newborn faces...
it never ends.
just like your love for them,
it never ends.
happy 20th birthday amanda!
and happy soon to be 19th birthday anthony!