Tagged with "parenting"
19 Jan
2018
Posted in: parenting
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In a Blink

children walking in a forest

Last week I registered our third son for middle school for next school year. Four years ago when I sat at my computer and registered our oldest son for middle school, I cried. I was worried about the unknown. We have several middle schools to choose from, and I was worried the one we picked would end up being a poor fit. I knew he was ready for something other than elementary school, but wasn’t quite sure what that even meant or looked like. The unknowns of the situation combined with my first-born being old enough to make that transition was overwhelming.

Fast forward to last week. I still cried after I finished registration, but for very different reasons. We’ve had at least one child at the middle school we initially chose for four years. It’s been better than expected, and my worries were unfounded. That next level after elementary school has been wonderful for our two oldest boys. My tears come from being a lot wiser than I was four years ago. Registering a child for middle school is akin to pushing the fast forward button. Registering for high school is double time. I know now how fast this portion of child-rearing flies by. In a blink.

Our oldest completes his first semester of high school this week. I haven’t an inkling where that semester went. His sister is finishing her first half of 2nd grade, and her year doesn’t seem nearly as fast. Time is weird. With middle school comes more freedom. They’re away more with after school activities. High school has our oldest away from us most of the day. The year seems fast because less of his life relies upon me. I can’t imagine what him having his driver’s license next year will do on my heart when there’s one less thing he needs me to do for him.

Even as I struggle with the letting go of motherhood, I rejoice for the excitement I see in our older children as they test their new freedom. Sometimes I’ll watch my oldest handle a situation and want to shout for joy at how competent he can be. Hallelujah! Those years of saying and showing the same things over and over and over actually stuck. I also love the moments he can’t find his way through a situation and calls me in for help.

I look at my 5th grader, who cannot wait to be just like his big brothers, and smile because he’s going to grow so very much these next few years, physically, emotionally and mentally. The ride is a roller coaster. I’ve ceased to be surprised at the dips and turns, but the ride is magical. I’ve watched these babies learn everything over the last 15 years and am so thankful for the gift it has been. I’m grateful for all the yeses we said when they were younger, and the adventures we had before their independent lives and schedules had to be seriously taken into consideration.

A friend with toddlers told me she was glad that she had a long time before she’d be in my shoes. I smiled because I remember being that younger woman. I vividly remember how long some days felt with multiple children in diapers, but there comes a point, for me it was middle school, where days no longer drag. It’s all too quick, and my breath catches at the speed of it all. In a blink.


 
The Greatest Showman and Big Dreams
By     |    Jan 4, 2018
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The Greatest Showman and Big Dreams

We were 30 seconds into the motion picture, The Greatest Showman, when I knew this movie was not like all the other movie dates I’ve been on with my children. I stole a look at my children during the opening song. They were leaning forward in their seats completely engrossed with whatever was about to happen on that screen and their faces reflected the magic of what would become one of our favorite films. It was exactly what the movies... [Read More]

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Recognizing My Selfish Parenting
By     |    Dec 19, 2017
Posted in: parenting     |    2 Comments

Recognizing My Selfish Parenting

The second day of high school our freshman came home declaring he was going to be a U.S. history teacher. No more engineering or business degree for him. Ninety minutes with his freshman history teacher had changed his life course, or maybe not. He could easily be a professional musician, or coach, or a street performer. The later has crept into conversations ever since a trip to Key West. Four months of high school has taught me that we are... [Read More]

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One of Us
By     |    Nov 8, 2017
Posted in: parenting     |    1 Comment

One of Us

I’m a nervous creature by nature and have serious worrying tendencies. Sending our oldest to high school sent me through a minefield of emotions. I’d never attended a school that size, excluding college. He’d be with hundreds of students from all over the county, and I knew this point marked the time he would be more with others and less with us. All we had taught and trained him up with would be put to actual test. When I dropped... [Read More]

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Out of the Busy Race
By     |    Oct 12, 2017
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Out of the Busy Race

I’ve officially dropped out of the race for most busy mother. Someone else can take the title. There are people in my vast circle who bring out the worst in me. You have them too. They want you to see all the balls they’re juggling at any given time. They are constantly on their phones. They want you to know what they’ve had to do without any help from anyone. I’ll find myself spouting off my own to-do list and... [Read More]

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Teenagers Deserve More From Adults
By     |    Sep 18, 2017
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Teenagers Deserve More From Adults

Twice last week I listened to adults rant about teenagers. I heard all about how lazy teens are, how disrespectful, how they lack work ethic, how they dress like slobs and how our future is surely doomed when that lot reaches adulthood and takes over. I listened and silently seethed until the ranting was over. Both times I shared only one thought,” You, obviously, don’t know the right teenagers.” Right around the time I thought I had a decent grasp... [Read More]

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School Survey Says….
By     |    Sep 5, 2017
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School Survey Says….

The former journalist in me comes out full-force on the first day of school every year. I pepper our kids with countless questions about their day when they arrive home. I’m one step away from a spotlight for my interrogations like my beloved crime books and movies. I’ll take every nugget of information, no matter how small, the kids are willing to throw my way. I really should hand each of the kids a survey to complete. Those who need... [Read More]

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Joys of Back to School Shopping
By     |    Aug 31, 2017
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Joys of Back to School Shopping

Every August I look forward to back-to-school shopping for clothes and shoes for our kids, and every August I’m reminded how taxing the actual shopping excursion is in reality. We try to make a weekend trip away from home to a larger city to make the sometimes tedious shopping more enjoyable. At least in a larger city there are more food options to help in coaxing good behavior. This year with high school football a new part of our schedule,... [Read More]

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East Coast Road Trip Debriefing
By     |    Jul 18, 2017
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East Coast Road Trip Debriefing

5,905 miles. Three weeks. 21 states. I can guess what people will say each time I recite theses details about our most recent epic road trip. People think we’re “amazing” to take our children on an adventure of that caliber, but cannot fathom doing anything similar. We’ve been called crazy. People think there’s some trick for getting our children to travel for weeks and swear their families would not survive the journey. This was the second time we’ve been on... [Read More]

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Adjusting to a Different Summer
By     |    Jun 21, 2017
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Adjusting to a Different Summer

I miss preschoolers. Maybe I don’t miss everything about having young children, but parenting a teen and a tween this summer has me nostalgic for truly lazy days of summer. I was prepared for life to change when our oldest entered high school. He’s active and involved. I knew certain things, like sports, would require more time. He hit the ground running this summer and his commitment motivated our 7th grader to start his own training program. By 9:45 a.m.... [Read More]

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Fighting Through Travel Anxiety
By     |    Jun 16, 2017
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Fighting Through Travel Anxiety

I’m at the point in vacation planning where I think it’s best to cancel our plans. This happens every time we travel, whether we’ll be gone for five days or three weeks. I’m overwhelmed by the planning process and dreading the packing. My anxiety has me worrying about everything from flat tires to lost hotel reservations to vomiting children to terrorists and everything in between. I can’t even think about the crowds of people and lines we’ll encounter. We’ll stay... [Read More]

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To Teachers Who Stand in the Gap
By     |    Jun 5, 2017
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To Teachers Who Stand in the Gap

Saturday night my social media feed exploded with news of an armed standoff and car chase on the Interstate highway through our town. The road was closed by request of law enforcement. All on- and off-ramps were blocked by armed law enforcement with lights blazing on their vehicles — and our son was on a school bus traveling that highway attempting to make it home from a long day in another state. It was after midnight when our teen called... [Read More]

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