The Perfect Storm

I am about to enter rough waters. It’s the perfect storm. My baby is starting kindergarten and my first born is starting high school. I should have kept my legs closed until 2010. Then, I wouldn’t have this problem. I actually thought about holding my daughter back this year. She has a late birthday, but it would be selfish. She is ready.
She confirmed that yesterday with this conversation:

My daughter: “I don’t like Ruby (of the show Max & Ruby) ”

Me: “Why?”

My daughter: “She is just so …… simple.”

(Stunned silence that she mistakes for confusion)

My daughter: “That means she isn’t very smart Mom.”

My 14-year-old is ready, too. I am not. I remember what I did in 9th grade. Actually, I vaguely remember what happened in 9th grade. I went to parties. I drank. I lied to my mother a few times. Imagine being Amish at a laser light show. You know it’s wrong, but it’s so cool you can’t resist “looking.” That is what freshman year is like.

My son will go to college in four years. My daughter is beginning her journey towards independence. My 7-year-old is somewhere in the middle.

I feel like I am running in place, sometimes in circles, while life is quickly passing by. The funny thing is I didn’t want to be a mom. I was going to focus on a career and that was it. As it turns out, being a mom is the only job I ever truly loved. Don’t get me wrong, contrary to what people post on Facebook, parenting is not all rainbows and lollipops. There are days when I want to rip my hair out. There are days when I don’t feel appreciated. There are days when I am completely exhausted. There are also days when you are shopping in Target with your daughter when your stomach starts to gurgle. Your daughter is looking at toys and refuses to budge. Now, you have a pain in your stomach. You whisper in her ear that you need to go to the bathroom. The girl who refuses to go upstairs in her own house alone, chooses that moment to conquer the fear. “I will wait here,” she says. You clench your teeth and plead with her to go because you don’t have time to lecture, let alone discipline her for being disobedient. You are a grown woman begging a child to follow you to the bathroom so you don’t s**t your pants in the Barbie aisle. There are those days, but the love they have for you and you for them trumps it all. (She says after taking a shot of tequila)

I bitch and moan, but the truth is I am afraid of not being needed. What will I do when there aren’t clothes to pick up off the floor, toys aren’t scattered everywhere and I don’t have to drive children to soccer practice or doctor’s appointments?

What will I do the day I go home and it is silent and not just for a few hours. I am not ready. I don’t know if I will ever be.

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