As a parent, we have thousands and thousands and thousands, of special moments with our children in our lifetime. But let’s be honest here, we can also have very difficult moments as a parent, but that’s another blog for another day. I recall the day I brought Brian home from the hospital. He was 2 days old, and I had been able to rely on the nurses to feed him, change him, diaper him and above all else, not drop him.
But all of a sudden, I am sitting on the couch looking down at this incredible little person, and was completely overwhelmed by the responsibility that just washed over me. With his Dad, and my parents standing there and looking at me, I felt the crush of the world coming down on me. I did not know what to do. “Oh my god, I have to take care of this little being and make sure nothing ever happens to him, because he is the most precious gift in my life.”
Finally, I decided I would change his diaper. “Yes, that makes sense,” I said to myself. “Then I will nurse him.” “Great, now I have a plan; I can do this!” And those were the early moments of motherhood. It just kicks in; it becomes intuitive.
As you know, I went on to have this experience two more times with Aidan 2.5 years later, and Claire, about 15 months later. The good news is, I have never dropped any of them. Though Aidan did decide to ride a fast wheel down the basement steps and it left him without 4 teeth at the age of 2. One of my toughest nights as a mom. I carried the 4 teeth to the dentist, and not thinking, said, “Please put them back in!” That too is another blog on another day.
Anyway, as a mom I have sat through sick nights with them, struggled through homework assignments, sat through hundreds of soccer and lacrosse games (wins and losses) as well as hiked the muddy slippery hills of Mendon to cheer Claire on her muddy cross-country meets, tried to listen and help them heal when their little and maturing hearts were broken from love, picked them up when they were defeated or beaten down or disappointed, and practiced very tough love (and I believe in this approach) when critically necessary, but that is also another blog for another day.
I have dropped them off to college in Erie PA, and Boston, MA. Welcomed Brian home, then packed him off for his first job at a golf course in Nashville, waving goodbye with tears in my eyes, and his, because I knew that if Brian accomplished his goal of becoming a PGA Professional, he would most likely NEVER be back in Rochester again. But NEVER say NEVER! On Saturday night, I heard someone coming through the back door, and turned to see Brian, one of the very newest PGA Professionals, walking through the door. What a moment! And on Sunday morning, he began his first day with his new gig, as Co-Assistant Golf Professional at the Country Club of Rochester. Yes, he is back in Rochester until the snow falls, then he will head south for his winter gig. I actually had a chance to see him dressed in his golf garb and leaving for work the other day…he is too darn cute!
And then earlier this week, Claire-Bear called to say, “It’s done, I accepted the job!!” This follows weeks and weeks and weeks of interviews for Claire, graduating from Bentley University on May 16th. As you will recall, this is a very stressful time for any college senior. Claire was fortunate and had several options. There have been lots and lots of phone calls, strategy sessions, highs and lows, of email drafts, and more discussion, but she is now officially employed as of June 8th! Great job; great city as she will be staying in Boston; great company, advertising/marketing firm — all good. Icing on the cake, she even has roommates and found an apartment in Brighton outside of Boston, with parking included!
I will soon be down to one in college. Aidan is a junior at Brockport preparing for a career in Finance, living on his own. Full-time student; part-time working man. He always was the strongest of any of us when it came to numbers. I have no doubt, he will have the same success of his siblings when the time comes. Aidan has walked a different path and has grown in a way that the other two have not. He has lived more than the other two, and for Aidan, is better for it.
But these are moments as a parent that make the lives of your children flash before you. Wait, stop, they are still only infants. How did this happen? It went too fast? They grew too fast? Did I take the time to watch them grow? Or was I moving too fast? Do they have issues with me? Probably – we have always been pretty open about that stuff. I believe in honest conversations, and when they say things like, “Mom, I am 21 or 23 or 25, I am not sure you can ask that question of me anymore?” To which I respond with a clever response, and then add in, “Well, if you don’t like my direct approach, add it to your future list titled, “Issues for the Therapist Down the Road About Life with Mom”.
I was the primary breadwinner for the family when the kids were growing, so I had to make all sorts of life choices, struggled with work-life balance, missed some events in their lives, was never there when they arrived home from school, and raised them to make their own breakfast and lunch (for which I do have a lot of guilt). But most nights I was there to gather with them for dinner, some nights, late dinners and to put them to bed. But I was there. I can look back and have regrets, but what purpose does that serve. There is no time, nor need for regrets. All we can do is our very best, and I would like to think I have done OK. They have all turned out great. I did not pamper or spoil them. They were raised with chores, jobs, and accountability.
So I am in a very “special moments” part of life with many, many more to come. I know so many of you can relate to these moments, past or present, and many of you have these moments in your future. For all of us, they are moments and memories to be cherished.
Thanks for checking in,