Judah turned nineteen last week. Nineteen!
We had a simple celebration: Chinese food for dinner and a bonfire with s’mores afterward.
I have to admit, our “long, lazy summer days” haven’t arrived yet. I think I have to accept that I am past that stage in my parenting life. When our kids were little, I rarely left the house with them. When we moved to Bellingham in 1999 I left the house alone with them exactly three times a month; twice for MOPS and once for La Leche League.
When you have five children five and under, it’s a little bit, um, hectic.
Back then, grocery shopping was always done on the weekend when Chuck was home. Trips to the library with the kids were impossible. My children could take books off the shelf faster than I could apologize to the librarian and avert further disasters. I would go in the evening or on the weekend while Chuck stayed home with the kids.
Trips to the park required me to risk their lives. I couldn’t possibly watch four (very young) mobile kids moving in different directions while I held a baby.
Enoch always has to come up with his own way of doing things. Making s’mores is no exception. He figured out a way to put the graham cracks, chocolate and marshmallows on before he roasted them.
Now that our kids are older and we have more teenagers than not-teenagers, our pace of life has changed. Judah is home for the summer working…but he doesn’t own a car. Tilly is working but also doesn’t have a car of her own. Enoch is working full-time, but can ride his bike to work. Kalina is babysitting frequently. Jubilee and Hezekiah attend Math and Science camp four days a week…the same days Avi and Apollo attend summer school.
All of this with two vehicles available during the day to get everyone where they need to be.
Forget the sugar and preservatives…this is the real reason moms hate s’mores.
My days are full and hectic and often spent driving around. I don’t mind. I love seeing my children grow and thrive and move onto new challenges. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t look back on the early days with wistful memories.
Hezekiah also figures out a new way to roast marshmallows….tough them to the hot roasting stick.
Parenting truly is bittersweet. It is the balance of celebrating your children’s latest achievements, while missing the babies and kids they used to be.
Keziah, Ezra and Boaz are all living on their own and supporting themselves. They have worked so hard for this and we are so proud of them. Keziah will be attending flight attendant school in the fall, fulfilment of a long-time dream for hers.
We miss Adalia who lives half a world away…yet are so happy for her dream life in New Zealand. When Kalina came home from her visit she said, “Ben made me so happy. He just loves Adalia so much and treats her so well!”
Parenting: Being happy for your children’s a accomplishments while simultaneously missing the small children they used to be.