Friday, May 20, 2016

What The Parenting Whaty-What?

Middle dude, who graduates in six days from high school, has finally decided on a college after visiting it yesterday. And just like that - the world shifted a little. Or perhaps it was just my heart.

Let's remember that this is not my first rodeo. We have a 25-year-old (that I clearly gave birth to as a small child - I'm not that old). So why the flutters? Whatup, mama heart? Why you gotta go acting like you ain't got no sense?

As my own mama's told me (and shown me) countless times, you never stop parenting. Sure, the dynamics shift as your babies grow up, but your heart apparently isn't on the list to receive that memo. Much like each time you hold your precious new child in your arms for the first time and your heart dances as if it has never done this before - no matter how many children you have welcomed into your family. It's like your heart regenerates anew every so often as a mama, and it blooms and swells and aches and hurts over and over again in the same ways - no matter how many times it has already experienced those feelings. It never seems to become "experienced."

However, just because I know this does not make the flutters any less disconcerting sometimes. So, back to it ...

Whatup, mama heart?

Mr. Anderson and I have never been those type of parents who worry about the empty nest. In fact, if you know us, you may have, a time or two, heard us talk about what in the heck is wrong with those people who are sad when they have the house to themselves? I mean, come on. Who is sad to be able to clean a room and it still be clean three days later? Who is sad that you can canoodle on the living room couch without hearing gagging sounds from one or more of your sons? Who is sad that you can live in a home that is not completely destroyed by little hands that turn into huge hands and feet? Who is sad about not spending nine MILLION dollars on groceries? Okay - some of that may come from the fact that we have all boys - and raising all boys is messy and loud and embodies the joke of THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS. But still ...

Why in the world did my heart whimper a little at the thought of another child growing up and leaving the nest? When the thought dawned on me that in a few short months we will only have one child left at home, why did my mama heart . . . hiccup? Am I losing my edge?

No - I think I'm normal. The first child growing up hits you like - "Wow. We did it. He's alive and not in jail. We can SO do this!" and you walk around sort of puffed up like you just hit a hole-in-one in mini-golf (low standards, here). But another one? And you only have three, so it becomes most of your kids have grown up and are leaving ... It's a different feeling altogether - one that sort of caught me off guard. Kind of like, oh, almost everything you experience as a parent from day one because there is no freakin' instruction book.

So that happened. And today, middle dude is talking about making a plan for moving out and that we need to start working on that and I'm sitting here all but I just found one of your binkies stashed in an old desk drawer where we hid them and told you they were all lost ...

15 years in a drawer ...
Life screams on and our hearts just struggle to keep up. Carry on, mama warriors, no matter what stage you're in.

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