I think that it is odd, in a fun sort of way, that almost exactly one month ago, I sat in an auditorium and watched our oldest daughter graduate from college and yesterday, I sat in an auditorium and watched our youngest daughter graduate from preschool.
Oh, fun fact here, these two lovelies have birthdays one day apart. Well, more like 16 years and 364 days apart.
Anyway, on the one hand, I can’t believe that I am old enough to have a child who is a real adult. A fully functioning member of society. A college graduate. Actually, I have three children over the age of 20 and this fact still blows my mind. I just don’t feel like this should be my reality. That’s probably, in part, because I am also the mother of the little 5 – year – old, who sang and danced on stage with her class mates, and her older and wiser 6 – year – old sister. In all honesty, I really don’t feel much different than I did 22 years ago when I had my first child.
Okay, I move slower in the morning when I first get out of bed but, that’s about it. Seriously.
I remember back when I was in my 20’s, 40 sounded so old to me. And 60?!?! Ancient! Now, that I’m closer to 50 than 40, 60 sounds pretty spry. I guess it’s all relative.
I’m not big on preschool graduations, or kindergarten graduations, or 8th grade graduations. The expectation is that our children will pass these milestones with relative ease, so I often think that we make too much of a fuss over it (like most things are children do these days). However, as Thing 2 received her diploma, a few thoughts crossed my mind:
1. She is absolutely adorable. I’m not bragging, it’s just true. 🙂
2. I had no idea that she knew some sign language.
3. I hope that she doesn’t suck her thumb while she’s on stage. Or, have to go to the bathroom.
4. This is my last child to ever go to preschool…ever.
There is a finality to that last one that really shook me. No more babies. Ever. Truthfully, I don’t want any more kids. I really am over the whole baby thing and I’m looking forward to being with my girls as they grow up. However, it’s one thing to say that when you’re capable of having more children but, it’s another to say that when that ability is gone. Hopefully, I will have grand-babies to enjoy during their preschool years but, this one is MY last child. Ever. I know that I keep saying “ever” but, forever is a really, really long time. Sobering. Especially for a woman who still considers herself to be relatively young. I know, I know, I’m past the child-bearing years. I get it. But, I guess I just never gave it much thought before entering this phase of my life.
I was trying to talk to Big Poppa about this but, I think moms and dads see this from a different perspective. While I was lamenting about being a woman and the physical changes of getting older, he was a bit fixated with the financial aspect of it all. You know, all of the “More kids just cost more money, ” and “Just think how much college is going to cost when the younger ones get there.” A lot less sentimental.
But, then, I had an “in – your – face” moment today. One of Thing 2’s fellow graduates and BFF had a birthday pool party. Before you go there, no, I did not put on a swim suit and embarrass myself ! I know my limitations. However, while I was sitting and chatting with the other preschool moms, I heard one of them ask another what year she graduated from high school. You know what she said? 2000! My oldest kid graduated just 8 years after her! Now, THAT’S sobering ! You know when I graduated from high school? 1984! Heck, I was out of college and had a child (a 10 – year – old to be exact) when she got her high school diploma. SOBERING!
I didn’t feel much like chatting after that. I really felt like having a Chick-fil-A vanilla shake but, alas, Chick-fil-A is closed on Sunday.
Turns out, that I’m at least 10 years older than most of the other preschool moms. Maybe I’m not so sad to leave preschool behind after all.
Thing 2 made it across the stage and accepted her diploma without incident. She shared that she wants to be a teacher when she grows up. I’m sure that will change a zillion times, with at least two of them being after she declares her major in college. She sang, she danced (with no thumb-sucking), she looked adorable and when it was all over, she headed straight for the table with the cookies on it. Because that’s what was important! Making sure that you get a chocolate chip cookie before you leave, not all of this crazy stuff that I was thinking about. At least one of us has our priorities straight.