It’s a big year. Again. We’re coming up on the one year life-a-versary of Shawn’s heart attacks. I turned 40, my daughter turned 20 and this fall my oldest will be 22. My youngest child just started high school and my middle child is in her final year and will be 18 this coming June. My second youngest will be 16 this April and will be old enough to get her license.
HOW DID ALL THIS HAPPEN SO FAST?
Seriously, I want to know. I blinked, and suddenly I wasn’t the young, twenty something mom with a bunch of little kids. Suddenly I’m 40 and my children are all rapidly becoming adults. I understand a bit now why it is that the 40’s were usually associated with ‘mid life crisis’. Because before my generation started having their families in their mid to late thirties, people had their kids back when I did, in their early twenties. So, by my age now, their kids would be nearly grown and panic would set in. How did it all happen so fast? While I was busy with soccer practices and music lessons and scraped knees and bedtime stories, suddenly they went from sweet smelling babies curled up on my lap to tall beautiful people breezing through the kitchen asking me for a ride somewhere.
Their beauty as teenagers and little adults stuns me. Sometimes I look at them and my breath catches for a moment. I can see them vividly in my minds eye, little toddler running around asking for juice and giggling and then, there they are tall and statuesque laughing at their phone screens. Once in a while, I will catch them, unaware that I am looking at them, and I can’t believe that they came from me.
I remember my teens. Well, in fact. I sometimes still have dreams of things that happened then and for those split seconds between awake and asleep, I will almost think I’m back in my parent’s house in Elora.
I remember my twenties. Very well. It wasn’t all that long ago that a pile of five small kids would clamber onto the couch at night to listen to me read Sleeping Dragons All Around and chant along with me “mocha maple chocolate cake” at the tops of their little lungs. Sometimes I go down to my office in the basement and just look at photos of them from these years for hours.
But now I’m the mother to teenagers. To adults. To kids who are planning their own next moves in life, their adult moves. Like where they will go to University and where they will live. I already have one child living on her own, it’s a matter of time before the others join her. And I’m happy for them. I really am. I love watching them in their passions and pursuits.
But I feel old now. For the first time in my life I feel like someone older. Someone whose time to make things happen has passed and now I must watch them do it.
It’s my privilege. To now be a spectator in their lives rather than the orchestrator. I will stand in that front row and watch them succeed, watch them fail and watch them follow their passions wherever that may take them.
I will stand and cheer and be their biggest supporter.
Adult kids. How am I here???