Thursday, September 22, 2016
Time to Get Real About My Baby Turing 10
I've always been very honest in the fact that I did not have babies to have children. I had babies to have babies. Or at least that was the point at the time. When I decided to have a baby, I never thought much past the having a baby part until I had a toddler.
Then, I thought only about toddlerhood and having another baby.
Then, I had a preschooler but never really thought much about it because I had a new baby.
Then, I had a school-aged child and a toddler, but never really put too much thought into it because I had another new baby.
Now, on the eve of having been a mother for 10 years, a whole decade or a third of my life, and now not having a baby in my arms, I realize I've been raising a young lady. A daughter who has been by my side for nearly every day in these last 10 years, not missing a beat of our life together. A daughter who made me a mother at 21, shaped me into the person I am today, and showed me that having a baby is so much more than that... having a baby.
I think about the book, Love You Forever, by Robert Munch, and of course get tears in my eyes. If you don't have children, it's hard to imagine what the words in that book actually do to a parent. As Heidi gets older- I mean, we're going into double digits- and the idea that she's not physically a baby anymore looms in my mind, I remind myself that she will always be my baby. True, it's not the same, babies have that way about them that even the most perfect 10 year old couldn't match. But none-the-less, she is still my baby girl, my first baby, and I will always have that special relationship with her.
It's hard for me to think that I've been a mother for 10 years and that I'm entering a whole new chapter in parenting. Like I said, I signed up for babies, not children. And whereas I think I've done a pretty good job navigating through the different stages of motherhood and raising children, I'm not sure I'm ready for taking on an adolescent daughter in this day and age. The thought is actually quite terrifying to me. At times, I still feel like I just got out of my teenage years and became an adult. How am I suppose to raise a child through it? I guess I'll figure it out, but I'd be lying if I said I was looking forward to it.
I guess part of me is just feeling very bittersweet about the whole my first born is turning 10 thing. On one hand, it's absolutely the most wonderful thing watching your child grow up. Let's be honest, I've kept her alive all these years and she's smart and nice and so many other amazing things- because of me. But on the other hand, watching your baby grow up is also quite sad. We've all said it at least once, why can't you stay this little forever?
So, with my feelings spread out all over the keyboard and dried tears on my cheeks, I'm going to go decorate for Heidi's birthday and make it the best damned birthday that girl has ever had. I'm actually pretty excited because we are starting a tradition where we travel- just the two of us, no boys- for her day. This year we are starting small and heading to a little beach town on Lake Michigan for a girls weekend getaway. The plan is for her 18th birthday to go anywhere she wants to go for the ultimate birthday getaway. I mean, if I have to suffer each year my little 6-pound baby gets older, I may as well do it while having fun on vacation.
I'd looove to know how you deal with your kids getting older. Am I totally crazy for feeling this way, because I feel a little crazy ha!