Baby is teething. Mama is struggling to accomplish more than the bare minimum. It’s just one of those weeks at the Stewart household. But….Parenthood is back! (If you’re not excited about this, I don’t know what to say.)
Something odd happened to me during this week’s season premier episode.
I started to identify with the adults.
Technically, I’ve been an adult for 8 years. Committed to marriage for nearly 5 years. Have a Master’s degree. I’ve noticed, though, that I have a difficult time seeing myself as “one of the adults.” It’s not that I behave like an adolescent; in fact, I’ve been weirdly responsible and sensible (read: boring) since childhood. I just don’t feel like an adult. Watching a show with the family dynamics of Parenthood, I’m still more likely to empathize with the kids and think the parents are a little over-the-top.
Watching those parents preparing to send their oldest daughter off to college on the other side of the country, though, something just shifted. My heart said, “!!!!!!!!!!” If you can’t translate exclamation points, that means, “Oh no! My daughter is going to leave one day, too! No! Not my baby! Don’t leave me! Ah! My baby!”
And now I’m a crazy lunatic mother who can already envision the day we will move to the city Caroline chooses for college. Someone help me.
Starting back to school always made me happy. New routines to settle into, freshly organized clothes to wear, crisp new books and planners to take on, projects to conquer–it all promises a sense of productivity that I love.
Oh, how times change. I’m feeling quite productive today because of the following:
- I showered! I’m not going to tell you how many days it had been because…gross.
- Breakfast and lunch have been consumed at appropriate times. Hasn’t happened in weeks.
- Read in both my Bible studies (in the same morning!).
- Lesson mostly prepared for 5th grade church class tonight.
- Did I mention the shower? The clean hair?
You’ve got to laugh at how humbling new motherhood can be. No more celebrating 20-page research papers; basic hygiene and nutrition are accomplishments now. And you couldn’t convince me to go back for anything.
I fear I may cry tomorrow.
I’m leaving my baby girl and husband for a long weekend, and all I keep thinking about is the moment when I’ll have to get in my car and drive away, leaving my child hundreds of miles behind while I head north.
Before I became a mother, I had lots of opinions about mothers. Don’t we all? I found it a bit ridiculous that women would lament taking a vacation because they were sad about leaving their kids for a few days. It’s just a few days! I wanted to yell, proud of my healthy logic.
But they’re hard to walk away from, those little ones.
Don’t get me wrong–I am thrilled about uninterrupted morning coffee, sleeping without listening for cries, and living on my own schedule for a few days. Mostly, my heart is nearly bursting with happiness about spending those days with some of my dearest friends who have each moved away recently.
But I’ll miss both of them, the little one with the sweet, milky smell and her daddy, too.
This mothering thing keeps leading me to moments of, “Who in the world am I?” Not the girl I was five years ago or five months ago, and I love my Lord for that.