This is what 20 years of parenting looks like
Indulge me – if you will – this little walk down the long and winding road of parenthood, for this week I will celebrate not only the birthday of my oldest child, but the anniversary of my 20th year of parenting.
What the hell!
Sometimes I wake up and forget how old I am. I have had some weird dreams about not studying for a test or being at camp during my adolescence and I totally forget that I am the mom of these young adults. I am embarrassed to say that there are times when they are way more grown up than I am.
When I stop to think about it, the whole thing is rather staggering.
Twenty years of "I'm the mommy, that's why". Two decades of being responsible for the well-being of other human beings. Two hundred and forty months of always being cognitive of other peoples' whereabouts and safety. Seven thousand three hundred nights of being only as happy as my most miserable child.
You get the picture.
I have done many things in my life. Built a career, nurtured (or is that tortured) a marriage, made a house a home, navigated the nastiness of the health care system with my parents, built friendships and contributed to a community. But there is no other single thing I have done in my life that has had a greater impact on me than being a mom. Seriously. Not because I am expected to feel that way. Or because that is what I want my kids to think. Simply because it is...
I am a better person for what they have taught me to be. From the moment they could reach out and hold my hand as we crossed the street, to the day when they had to push that hand away and 'do it themselves'. They have taught me when to hold tight, and more importantly, when to let go.
Here's to you, baby girl. Kiss your teens goodbye and grab your twenties by the balls. You are truly someone to proud of.