As the year comes closer to an end, I look back at the days and think “Where did the time go?” My kids are already in high school, my daughter is 14, my middle son is 16, and my oldest son is 17, but they are all well beyond their years. I’m not needed as much as I used to be and they are answering more questions for me than they are asking. I know I’m not getting any younger, but have I gotten any wiser? I’m not certain anymore. The midlife mess creeps up on me each day, sending shock waves of multiple mood swings, aches, pains, and everything in between to my brain. I just don’t seem to have that enthusiasm I once had when my kids were younger. I am happy where I am in life, but I am not overly excited.
So many changes in just one year
This year was the first year I wrapped gifts early, there aren’t many to place under the tree like before because my kids are no longer little, and they already know what they got. The older they get, the more expensive the gift and this means only one or two to give. But it’s not just seeing a few gifts under the tree that gets me, it’s all the changes that have taken hold this year at once. What was suppose to be a calm year, turned into a busy year of growing, learning, and a lot of changes.
My oldest son keeps reminding me of how he is graduating soon and will be off into the military like his father. My middle son is checking out local colleges already as he is almost guaranteed a scholarship with his brilliant mind and exceptionally perfect grades. And then there’s my daughter, my baby girl. She has been going over and over with me about what she wants to do when she graduates and how she wants to live next to me for the rest of her life so we can do our mother+daughter coffee outings each weekend.
Last month my oldest started driving. It was the first time I sat in the back of the car while he drove and my husband sat up front with him. I closed my eyes at first, scared, yet anxious. I could hear the beating of my heart as he began to pull out of the driveway and I steadied my breathing so I didn’t have a panic attack. When I opened my eyes, he was already on the main road and talking with my husband as if he had been driving for years. Those long days playing simulation driving video games must have really paid off. He was really good and yet, as I looked at him, he still had that baby boy face and I wanted to reach over and tell him I loved him. He looked in the rear view mirror at me, “Are you okay back there mom?” he asked. I smiled and turned away before he could see my eyes water.
My middle son has been actively looking for a part time job. He’s been talking about it and wanting to save some money up for college. He’s always been so good at saving. In fact, this year he wanted a really expensive computer for his video games and software development work so he sold his own PS4 to help chip in with the funds we budget for their Christmas gifts. While my oldest son is following in dad’s footsteps, my middle is planning on following in mine and going to college for Computer Science and Video Game Development, so he has to have the most up to date systems that are fast enough to handle processing. I was simply blown away with how he proceeded to do something about it instead of asking us to just get it for him.
And another great moment, my daughter won the local Student Film Festival in town. Her film was featured on a live theater screen for the whole town to see. She taught herself the technology and software for film screen editing and just nailed the film scene. Her love to become a Film Director and Voice Over Actress really shined this year and I am so proud of her accomplishments. She’s growing up faster than I can keep up with and yet she’s still my baby girl.
Motherhood’s moment of truth
Watching our kids grow up is one of the hardest, yet proudest, things a mother must endure. We give up so much of our lives to raise them, we change who we are inside and out, we go broke to give them what they need, and we do so without asking for anything in return. We live for nothing else but to see our children happy and healthy.
So for me, this year was the moment of truth. I think “Of everything I have done to raise good kids, did I do it right?”
I think I did and there is nothing wrong with being proud of myself for seeing how wonderful my kids have turned out. Now we have nothing but the future to look forward to. Goodbye 2016. I think I’m feeling a bit more excited about the New Year now.
Has this year seen a lot of changes in your life? How have you handled them?