My little people are not so little anymore

I remember when they were born. The teenage years seemed so far off, it was almost impossible to consider the day would ever be here. Now here we are, and I look back to when they were babies and almost can’t believe that ever happened either. It was a lifetime ago. And yet it seems like just yesterday that I graduated from high school. Time is so confusing.

Infant to toddler. Starting school, and then into middle school. Now both of my babies are in high school, and they are not babies anymore.

People talk about empty nest syndrome. When the kids are grown and ready to leave the nest. It’s not here for me yet, and I’m already apprehensive (because now it feels so close). I try not to be anxious. I don’t know that I can describe the feeling that I feel when I think about it. I was a young mom (and still am a young mom). Since it always seemed I was ahead of people my age I graduated high school at age 16, started college at 17, and the rest of my milestones seemed to come up quickly from there, I often counseled myself that the next chapter of my life would start in my late 30’s. I’ll be done with the daily routine of kids and school.

I hope my kids don’t leave the nest I’ve created before they are ready. A part of me just wants them to stay forever. Though I really want them to stay in the nest while they figure out what they are going to do with their next steps in their lives. Maybe that will buy me some more time before I have to grow up again. I have the feeling that so soon I’ll need to decide what comes next for me. I still have some growing up to do. Dreaming and future planning, purpose seeking.

For so long my identity has been wrapped around being a mom. Decisions I make have an underlying stability factor in there for my kids. When faced with thoughts about what comes next, it’s always come with the feeling of creating a life foundation for my kids. Stay in this house, keep them in the same school, and make changes, if any, after they’ve graduated from high school.

What happens when the decisions you think will come up someday sneak up…and it’s almost later already. My daughter is a junior this year. In two years, she’s graduating from high school, and my son, a freshman this year is two years behind her.

I realize its silly to worry about things before its time. Yet I can’t help but glimpse forward just a little bit, and I’m afraid. I am afraid that there are limitless possibilities and I won’t know what to choose. I am afraid that my identity that I’ve had for so long (being the daily needed mom) will suddenly vanish. I know that I will always be their mom. I know that they will always need me. It will just be different. They won’t need me as much. They’ll be free to make decisions to move and live on their own. They already don’t need me as much. I am so happy that they don’t, though a little part of the mom that I used to be is sad.

Through these contemplations and random thoughts going through my mind, I’ve realized a few things.

Everything that makes me happy about this, and sad about this is wrapped up in thinking about the future, and looking back at the past. In the present moment, right here, and right now, everything is perfect. I have two wonderful teenagers, and enjoy every single minute of them. They make me smile. They bring me joy. I enjoy their company. I like being around them. They like being around each other. I walked into the living room last night at midnight where they were sitting and talking. When I asked what they were doing they said “you know mom, socializing.” {insert melting heart here} They are each other’s greatest confidants, and I know that they always have each others backs. What more could I ask for as a mom?

Absolutely nothing. It’s perfection.