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Archive for March, 2019

All Dressed Up and Everywhere to Go

March 14, 2019 7 comments

Our 2001 babes are graduating high school this year.

Yesterday/twelve years ago we sat cross-legged on the carpet of Ms. Kocher’s kindergarten class with them on our laps, amazed our wee ones were embarking on their academic and formative journey, away from our watchful gaze and in the path of bullies, germs, detention, and other pitfalls elementary schools breed.

Grudgingly, bravely, and in need of a five hour break, we let them go.

At first, they returned from school enthusiastically sharing stories about what happened on the playground, who was friends with who, and what they learned in science that day if it involved bugs. But the stories dwindled to a drip as they advanced through elementary school, halting completely in high school. You can’t put your finger on the moment it happened, where and when the line was drawn, but they eventually stopped seeing you as their confidante and most trusted resource and instead view you as solely – cue the eye roll – their parent.

Mourning the loss of our identity, we take a trip down memory lane to when our peanuts were newborn, and our hearts exploded with joy and optimism and also fear and anxiety should anything interfere with our precious nut. The power of these mixed emotions was the most intense love you’ve ever felt. No one mentioned when you were pregnant that this would happen. Sure, they warned of the cost of diapers and the lack of sleep, but neglected to mention the mountain of emotions your head and heart would scale – only to stumble and plummet from – daily.

Parenting is a serious mind feck.

So when this most perfect being created in your likeness (but is not, as they assert, us at all but a completely different individual from whom we expect them to be, thank you very much) can’t stand the way you chew your food or part your hair, that explosion of love experienced at their birth remains steadfast.

Behind their monosyllabic answers to our questions and closed bedroom doors they are growing, expanding, enduring heart break, learning calculus, coordinating outfits, Snapchatting and finding their voice.  Determining who they are is a full-time job and they are exhausted. We watch in awe and in terror as they morph into their identity, wishing we could help, daring to make suggestions, but keeping our distance.

Our soon to be graduates had their prom last weekend. Beautiful in their uniqueness, our babes from Ms. Kocher’s class have transformed into athletes, artists, academics, fashionistas, vegans, ravers, rappers, techies and wellness experts. They coiffed and tanned and donned fancy clothes over their full grown bodies for their event but we still recognized their newborn faces. They remain our babies, they just have become themselves.

And the unfathomable thing about the tidal wave of love we experienced the day they were born is this: it grows.(Their grade three classroom art project still hangs prominently in my house)

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