My life in pictures, stories and open letters.

My life in pictures, stories and open letters.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

After a little reflection...

I realized how lucky I am.

Coworkers are expecting babies in the next few months. This is, of course, a new and exciting time for them - one is even expecting TWINS! They have much joy, and much fatigue, in their futures. They have the excitement of all the firsts - steps, smiles, teeth, words. Oh, I remember it well.

My life, these days, however, is different. So much different. And it took giggling over baby bellies for me to realize that many of those differences are actually quite awesome. Yes, I will enjoy watching their bellies grow and will snuggle those little ones endlessly given the opportunity (the babies, not the bellies). I would pat little diaper bums and rub circles on their wee backs. I would look at their beautiful little faces and make gooey noises at them.

But no. You could not pay me a million dollars to go back there myself. I've done my years (almost 18 of them so far at my oh-so-young age of 38) and cherish them. But I'm happy to move on.

Yes, I have teenage girls. And a younger girl who thinks she is a teenager. Yes, they swear at me and roll their eyes and stay up too late and write "I thot you loved me" in the dust on my car. Yes, they can choose their own friends, and it doesn't matter whether or not I like them, seeing as how they schedule their own playdates now. (And trust me, if any of those playdates result in me rocking a babe-in-arms again, heads are gonna roll!)

Yes, there are demands for money and more scheduling and plenty of "that's gay!" comments. There are scantily clad self portraits on facebook and lots of creepers that they trust because that's what big-hearted girls do. There is girl drama and cat fights constantly. And yes, money is extremely tight.

There is more clean up than every before. They are far messier than any toddler, with the exception that they don't fingerpaint on the walls with their own poop. But they are still plenty gross nonetheless. There is still much potty talk and a whole lotta bodily functions.

And keeping the oldest one dressed is almost harder now than it was when she was two.


The majority of my time now is spent driving kids around. Of trying to remember who has to be where when. Of homework (soon) and school nights and late-night phone calls. Of fighting over computer and TV time. Of trying to convince the offspring that it is okay to help with dishes, do their laundry and clean their own room. Of watching them play sports with no car seats or strollers.

And while I no longer stand by a crib carefully watching a little chest move up and down, I do sometimes stand by an empty bed in a pink tinkerbell bedroom wondering when the little body who belongs there will be home. A reminder that my life isn't perfect. (Yet.)

The rest of my time, the time I've been most concerned about over the past years - me time - has come to me in abundance. For the most part. With the exception of the stuff I've already mentioned, my life is my own now.

As I sit here, finally blogging, I have one kid out (somewhere), another watching TV and the third out playing on the block with her friends. I have come down to the computer in peace. There is no screaming. No tantrums. No demands on my time.

And I can sit and read a book on the deck with no interruptions.

As promised, things do get better - and easier - as I become less important in my childrens' lives. Their independence is my independence.

How sweet is that?


Reccewife said...

I will get there. I will get there. I will get there.....

Actually, my parenting strategy for having teenagers is Jesus will return before then. It is also our retirement plan.

I'll let you know how that works out.

Anonymous said...

Oh my. This is all wonderfully funny and sweet and uplifting. So why am I crying? My sweet girl, I don't know if it's because I also remember these bittersweet days and I cannot believe you are here already. Or is it maybe because of the little girl with the pink tinkerbelle bedroom and how she grew up so fast. But i am happy for you, dollface. I am truly happy for you. Do I get to say, "I told you so."? *sniff*

Ronda's Rants said...

Your Mom's comment above touched me almost as much as your blog. I remember this time in my own I wish I were at a place that I could feel as contented as you do now in my own life!Good for you Rhonda! Good job!

Jamie said...

Love this view point, as I sit in a difficult summer with Big Sis - (15) and think man I wish she was little again - I needed to read the plus points. Thanks!!!

Asia said...

Mom. We love you, more than anything in the world, we appreciate everything you do for us. Although it rarely seems like it. But we do. I'm 17 years old and yes life can be hell, but my favorite moments I'll cherish forever are the moments I get to spend laughing and being a retard with you!

Betty said...

I love this post! And the comments...just as much! Your sweet Asia writing that comment is just so precious. You´ve had such a hard time with her and I´m so glad it is getting better and you are having some me time. I am happy for you girl!

angie said...

I feel exactly like you. I wouldn't do the baby thing again for love or money, and it's so nice to be able to just leave the house and have free time. LOVED this post.

Asia said...

Thank you Betty , I love my mom. And I would do anything for her. Well try anyway. I've had a rough time dealing with my o.d.d growing up . And I'm still struggling. And I made it so hard for both of my parents. They didn't know how to deal with me, neither did I. But they did they best they could. And I live them very much for not giving up on me even when they wanted to.

Toyin O. said...

Great post, It must be great to have independent children:)

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Lilly said...

Hey Rhonda, are you ever coming back to blogging? How are things with you?

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