All of my friends' kids are nearly grown--or at least graduating high school this year--(shout out to Kelly's Emily and Peri's Karli!)...I joke that by the time my youngest graduates, I'll have one foot in the grave.
With my oldest turning 29 this summer and the youngest at just 11, I can say I've been "mothering" for a long stinkin' time!
I am not the same "mom" I was when the oldest kids held me hostage. I was younger, of course, and had alot of growing up to do with them. Sometimes, when they threw their tantrums, I threw my own. I was still immature and impatient at times.
This is my last year in 5th grade. If you count my own education, I've been in 5th grade 8 times. I can write book reports about Abe Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, Florence Nightengale, Madagascar, Monitor Lizards and can make a DNA string out of starbursts, the Eiffel Tower AND an Egyptian pyramid outta sugar cubes, and a tub of frosting. Cream cheese tastes best, fyi.
Yesterday, I escorted the Caboose on a special field trip with 11 other girls in her class. They placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the Stock Market Game in the State of Colorado, so just the 12 of them plus their teacher, Mr. Hinkle, had the privilege of skipping school and going up to the Denver Zoo to a special meeting with the other winners in the State to receive their awards. Dani and Mr. Idaho and their boys met up with us at the zoo too.
When we met up with other girls from their class, it was a reunion of squeals and ponytails! I walked behind with some other mothers--clearly, I reigned as the Oldest Mother there. And I liked it. I mean, I really really liked it.
As I looked around at the zoo, mostly patroned by young mothers and toddlers in strollers and babies in slings tethered to their bodies, I was glad to still be in their company.
Having a child when I was nearly 40 years old was good for me. I am not full of energy to run around like I used to..but I am also not [as] immature as I used to be either. It takes all kinds of energy to get worked up about stuff, that, life has taught me, doesn't warrant getting upset or worked up about in the long run.
SO I let things go easier. The Caboose has a much mellower Mom than my oldest yahoos did--
So what that she's worn her new favorite summer dress three times in a week--without being washed first?! She's 11, she'll get over it. So what if she would rather take leftovers from last night's dinner to school instead of making a snadwich or buying from the cafeteria?! So what if she'd rather wear her hair in a ponytail 6 days in 7?! And those Barbies covering the floor in her room--they'll all but disappear in a few more months. And that will be sad. No more cruising down the Barbie aisle at Target for me again until I have granddaughters. I already have to walk past the fairy dresses and baby dolls... I want to enjoy the Barbie aisle just a little longer, please.
The Caboose keeps me young and active with her school trips and projects, her gaggle of giggly-ponytailed-chatterbox-friends who talk about everything girly thing under the sun--[mostly boys, music] and reminds me of my own youth.
I found myself smiling and laughing at their silliness and at the end of the day, when catching up with Mr. W at dinner last night, I just had a moment where I got a little boob-ish as I confessed the best part of my day was hanging out with twelve 11 year old girls and holding my grandsons on my lap at the same time.