Honestly, from the moment you found out you were having a baby, even before they made their entry into this world, people started telling you not to blink. A polite, “That’s what I hear.” is the reply, along with a smile until they are out of view, then you toss an eye roll their way.
My Fave and I are in a weird spot in our parenting: JTM and CJM are 15 (6 weeks from 16) and 14, respectively. We still get a lot of “Don’t blink.” advice from people who have kids in college and beyond but we’re also very aware of how much is behind us and how much we blinked – clearly way too much. Seriously, I’m certain that there are whole chunks of time when blinking was all I must have been doing! With regret for all the blinking I’ve done, “Don’t blink.” is uttered to every mama of littles I see for more than 30 seconds. It’s like a freakin’ disorder – I even want to give the polite smile followed by the eye roll to myself – but I just can’t help it!
A week ago CJ brought home his high school course scheduling information. Just 4 days later, he represented the Miller name in a Nagel uniform for the last time. Immediately following his final game, we loaded up into cars to get back to our side of town for a high school golf meeting. We went from celebrating a middle school championship to jumping into high school sports in under 30 minutes. We’re in the beginning stages of a lot of “lasts” right now; I’m constantly thinking about how many times I blew off the advice of “Don’t blink.” and how often I’ve wished time away. “I can’t wait until the boys are back in the same school.” seemed like such an innocent desire for the last 3 1/2 years, but no one told me how attached I was going to get to middle school. I didn’t go to middle school; my Catholic elementary school went to eighth grade and then I moved onto the local all girl, Catholic high school but I remember overwhelming urges of wanting to crawl in a hole and stay there until I died in 6th or 7th grade – you don’t need to be in an actual middle school to hate middle school. No one was more surprised than I when I realized that as much as middle schoolers are total jerkfaces that we all fight the urge to “Gibbs smack”, they are also awesome and smart and brave and amazing and scared and awkward and just doing the best they can. And doing it all under the microscope of social media. (I’ll give you a moment to pause and thank Jesus that social media wasn’t around when we were growing up.) I love these kids and getting to be the president of a PTO filled with the incredible parents of these amazing kiddos for the last three years has been an unexpected joy. Heart-wrenching and frustrating, but a total joy.
And then there are the saints that dedicate themselves to pushing our kiddos to their potential while also tiptoeing through the landmine that is adolescent hormones mixed with a desire to still be kid but also wanting to run headfirst into being a grown up. They are the people that I needed when I was struggling to put one foot in front of the other and begging God to make my next breath the last one. And they are surrounded by the jerkface/awesome/awkward kiddos every day by choice! By choice. Not for the money. Certainly not for the accolades or appreciation. They. Blow. Me. Away. And they have loved both of our boys like they are their own. And I wished it away. I blinked – a lot. With every passing “last”, another isn’t far behind. But, if it wasn’t so amazing it wouldn’t be so hard to move on from; Winnie the Pooh may have been a “silly old bear” but he was sort of a genius.
My “one word” for 2019 is actually two words, “Get to”, and was carefully selected as a follow up to my “one word” (okay, two words) for 2018, “Be intentional.” I’ll save the details for both of those choices for another post but I’ll say this now: both have taken on a vastly different purpose than I originally intended. The reason for selecting each is still valid in their respective moments but they’ve also come to represent living in the moment, full of gratitude and drinking it in for as long as I can. From high school course selection to stinky basketball uniforms to our blue-eyed girl who never met a mud puddle she didn’t love, I’m doing my best to not blink or wish a single moment of it away.
And, I got way out of my comfort zone and threw the “What will people think?” out the window – yep, mailed our New Year cards on Valentine’s Day! After all, we’re all just doing the best we can, right? ♥