Monday, August 29, 2011

The Bitter and The Sweet

It's near September and schools around here won't start until after Labor Day weekend.
I'm now a parent that has to know about school starting and stuff.
Can I take a moment and point out how strange that feels?
Having a kindergartener is like finding out you're pregnant for the first time. So insignificant to the other people walking around this world yet so incredibly monumental on your own timeline. Life changing and chapter closing. The choice of welcoming the change and the letting go that always follows.

Did you know,
I gave birth to beings and they get older every day?
the Vaisey's do the Fairport library

I am young and old and wise and inexperienced.
Wasn't I just 19?

Lately the realization of my oldest child's childhood slipping away has really begun to sink in.
Also I should point out here, my pessimistic tendencies.
When it's the end of the day and I am exhausted beyond measure and I can't do dinner, and I don't want to do bedtime and if one more child asks me for something(!!), and I can't remember the last moments to myself that didn't involve laundry and very late nights, it's hard to see past to tomorrow.
I want them to grow up and stay small all at the same time. I am self-diagnosed with Motherhood Bipolar Disorder. I long for quiet and peace and order, but really enjoy the baby's fat face and the boy's tender sweetness and her lispy clever-talk- those things that can only be found in small ones. But I need them to grow up so I can feel sane. I need to feel in control of something again.
I know growing up brings so many great things. I know we will go on family vacations without diapers or crying babies, go to soccer games and spelling bees, drop off dapper young teens at school dances and cry over first heartbreaks. And I bet sometimes, then, I will be alone. Alone! Imagine that? I can and I can't wait.

But then.
Then they go to sleep and something magical happens.

I stare at their little faces and have that familar overwhelming feeling of peace wash over me. It consumes my soul and I remember in that instant what it's all for. It feels like a Mack Truck. My chest feels heavy and I'm breathless and thankful and my eyes welt up all at once. I am newly inspired to be better and to be everything I can be for them. I will move mountains. I am undeserving and they are so cute and small and I am so happy to be needed. So grateful to be needed.
That's why God invented sleeping children.
It is sometimes only then that I get to revel in the greatest cliché ever thought up:
They grow up so fast.
There, I said it.
Now I can have time to enjoy it while it is here and eventually let it go and welcome change. It's the rejoicing and the mourning and it's the bitter but the oh so sweetness of parenthood. It's the stuff I'm still trying to figure out.

14 comments:

robin said...

i have nothing clever or poetic to say... just that i loved this.

and amen.

communikate. said...

you are gorgeous. i love your pretty hippy hair twist and now have instant regret regret for cutting my bangs.

as for the children bit. this has me wanting my own so much i can't stand it. enjoy the last bits pre- kindergarten world.

Unknown said...

Well said. Love your blog. :)

Henderson said...

oh, that was me...

Wende said...

Well said. I think the Lord knew if he made babies and small children beautiful that they would have a better chance of surviving. :) I love looking at my kids asleep - the "mother's high" usually lasts me until breakfast the next morning or the first fight of the day whichever comes first. It's going to be a great year!

kelly said...

yes, wende. the mother's high. nicely put.

grammatina said...

My dear daughter,
I am so proud of you. When did you become so wise? I felt the same feelings you described all come back again when I remembered when you were a little girl. You were so ready for school. I see a lot of you in Lena. She will be a great teenager. :-) You really do have a way with words. You should become a writer. I truly believe that. Love mom :-)

chelsey meyer said...

i just saw your comments on my posts and wanted to come say that "but your babies are sooooo cute" and then i read this post and at first decided not to encourage further reproducing but you are such a great mom. this broke my heart and yet filled it so much. even though i just have one little, i feel the same way a lot of the time and can't imagine having more (but i want threeee) and i dream of those days of first days of schools and soccer practices but am dreading them so much at the same time.

Amanda said...

I second your Mom's comment. The one about you being a writer. You can verbalize pretty much my very own thoughts. Except the fact that I can't go in and sneak a look at Eleanor because the creakiness of our home causes her to wake up if we even attempt to open the door. Blasted old homes.

Tristen said...

You totally verbalized EXACTLY my feelings about parenthood, and exactly how I feel this year about my kids growing up and going to (preschool since we held our oldest back for one more year). But still our first year of school of any sort, and you are SO right... it's like being pregnant. This whole post, perfect. Might link to this from my blog if you don't care.

Ryan said...

I must say the past few blogs have been touching sister. give thanks to Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre for inventing the camera so we can share and look back on our lives. good work sister.

Rebekah V. said...

It is crazy that Lena is in kindergarten.

I woke up at 4 in the morning the day Eloise started and freaked out with my own bipolar swings about the hurry up/slow down dichotomy of childhood.

But I have to say that the first time is a really big deal. It is a really big shift. congratulations and here is to a new set of worries and triumphs!

Andi said...

kelly,
i don't know you but thank you, this hit home for me.
you are a lovely writer.

kelly said...

andi-maybe we should get to know eachother, yes? and thank you.

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