Project Alicia : Week 16 {365} The Evolution of Motherhood

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Week 16 {365} The Evolution of Motherhood

Every single day we take a breath we are one day older, I get it… but I don’t have to like it.

My kids are growing by leaps and bounds. They have both shot up at least a foot in the last year. Nothing in their drawers seem to fit anymore and I have an empty wallet to prove it. They each have an entire new wardrobe and we had to get Pokey a new bike so her feet didn’t drag. And although I’m happy they are growing in inches (especially Little Man- he had me worried there for a bit when his feet didn’t grow for like 2 years), I’m having a really hard time as they take those giant independent strides forward.

One of their first words is mama. They cling to you like no one else. You can't get anything done to save your life. They want to be held 24-7. You leave their sight for a second and their whole world crumbles as they begin fits of screaming until they can be safely reunited with you again. I remember anxiously waiting for the age I could drop them at nursery; counting down the days to get a couple hour break only to realize that they weren't ready to part with me yet... They wake up and want to be with you. They love to snuggle. Your name is like a broken record. When they start school they want you there at every opportunity. You're cool and they're proud to show you off to their friends. They like you. (Read more here.)

Then one day everything changes. They dress themselves, they make their own breakfast, they walk themselves to school, public displays of affection are off limits, and it appears you have been traded in for snotty nosed little brats who are more cool.

This week I have observed milestones in my children’s lives. Not the life altering kind, but rather the kind that make them need you less. I find myself tightening my grip just as they are loosening theirs; a last-ditch effort to hold onto what once was.

Thursday marked one of those said milestones. I had to take a shower for work and it was day one for me, as in wash hair, shave, exfoliate, and lotion day. I lost track of the time and when I opened the door I realized it was nine o’clock and Pokey needed to be at school in 5 minutes. Little Man was already at school for intramurals. In a panicked state I yelled Pokey’s name only to realize she was nowhere to be found. After searching the house over I realized she must have already left. She does read time and has walked herself to school before, she just hadn’t told me she was leaving. I assumed that must have been what happened and felt a twinge of concern mixed with a little guilt, so I decided that I would stop by the school just to make sure she made it ok. I was finishing up a few things around the house when I found this…

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I got a lump in my throat and tears started welling up instantly. It was all I could do to not cry. Call me what you will- that is not just any note, not to me. That note marks a pivotal turning point in my daughter’s life… the day she suddenly realized that she was a big girl. AND SHE LEFT ME A NOTE! How responsible is that? She didn’t really need me- and all because I needed to shave my legs. I suppose it is an inevitability, but I would have preferred to hold off on that one a while longer. I went to the school anyhow, you know- just to make sure. She was mortified that I was there and even more so that I wanted a hug. I got the head flip, eye rolling, “MOM!” (As in, you-are-so-not-cool.)

Man, I miss my babies. Those sweet little kissable, lovable pockets of chubs nestled up with you for hours on end… back in the day when I could do no wrong and I was their entire world.

*Sigh*

Motherhood: That feeling of tingly warmness after 10 months and 25 hours of pain blood and suffering.

This definition makes me chuckle just a little (love urban dictionary), mostly because it is oh so true (particularly with the first one). It also serves as a reminder of the road I have traveled.

Motherhood is really the epitome of the agony and the ecstasy. There is nothing more difficult or more rewarding that you will ever experience in this life.

There is no other job on this earth that teaches humility, long suffering, patience, self-control, perseverance, charity, and unconditional love quite like the job of mother.

Some of our weekly highlights include:

The kids riding their bikes to school for the first time.
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Pokey advancing to basic 3 ice skating.
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Little Man scoring some goals, showing us his fancy footwork, assertiveness, and love of the game. (He's still got it.)
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Pokey shedding her baby teeth for her new found bugs bunny grin. (Check out that diastema- can you say BRACES?)
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Pokey declaring her new fashion sense. (Yikes! Note to self: pick your battles wisely.)
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Scoring some rare cuddle time thanks to some fruity mentos.Photobucket

And Little Man doing his first load of laundry this week. Then blurting, "Hey mom, did you know that coral spawn and are territorial and will eat each other?"

Wow. The answer, of course, was "no". They never cease to amaze me!

They are growing up way too fast and as hard as I try I can't seem to slow it down.

My children may not need me quite as much as they once did and I may not be the center of their universe like I once was, but I am still their mother. And although my role seems to be dissolving before my eyes, I will continue to forge forward as they assert their independence and transition into the next phase of their life… the hormonal prebuscent years. Bring it on!!

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27 comments:

  1. aaah you make me want to cry!! Just remember that you will always be their mother, and they will "need you again" one day. I promise that!!! :) This makes me sad though, that this phase of life is inevitable!

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  2. what a great post. really, i got a lump in my throat just reading it thinking to myself: WOW, my babies are all going to get to this point way too soon. I often ask myself why they just can't make their own breakfast, or get dressed themselves, or do their hair, or put a movie on, or walk home alone from the bus stop . . . aggghhh. I need to treasure these "moment's" for they will surely be gone WAY TOO SOON.

    thanks for the reminder.
    xoxo

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  3. Ok, a few things:

    1. This made me cry. My daughter is 5, had always been independent, but is already pulling away from mommy hugs and kisses. :( Contrast that to my 10 month old who just likes to hang out in my lap. I look at my daughter and am so surprised at how fast she's grown and kick myself to cherish every single second of her.

    2. The picture of your daughter's fashion sense, I slowly scrolled down to as I read. I was studying her outfit, looking for what you would possibly have hesitations about. Then, I saw the shoes! And those tears dried right up and turned into an outburst of laughter. So funny!

    And lastly...

    3. I gave you an award! You can pick it up at my little corner of internet space :)

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  4. What a poingant post - beautiful and tender for sure. It is also very timely for me, serving as reminder that I need to cherish every moment with my kids while they still want me EVERY moment of every hour of the day. ;)

    Great photos, btw!

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  5. Do those shoes go halfway up her shins? :) I really like the big grin photo of her. And little man seems to have some real soccer skills!

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  6. This post brings back memories of Friday night! That cute note from you grown up gal will probably stay on the fridge until she is 16! SO precious and totally OK ha ha. The soccer games look like so much fun. I am at that first stage of motherhood still and while reading this I feel its just next week they will be riding their bikes to school and yes, I know I will cry. What mom wouldn't!?

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  7. I see I'm not the first one to get a little teary reading this post! My little guy is in the thick of the terrible twos. I've recently been secretly wishing to speed up the aging process and move past the tantrums. After reading this, though, I think I'll be grateful for all of the little boy time I can get!

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  8. This blog was interesting to me to read because I'm in a different place of motherhood. I'm in the stage of being needed a lot, and I look forward to the day when Cohen can just walk out the door, instead of me dressing him, changing him, packing a bag, picking him up, and THEN walking out the door. It's often that I am thankful for any sort of independence he gains. But today for no reason he snuggled with me for like 5 minutes. Snuggles are rare for him at this age. And I adored it.

    Ah...motherhood......agony and ecstasy. Well said.

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  9. Alicia....what a wonderful post. I got a lump in MY throat when I saw your daughter's note!! It sounds like you are raising amazing kids. Great job, Mom!! Beautiful photos, too!

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  10. I am ready for my kids to grow up and get a job already!! Just kidding. I do find myself appreciating my 3rd baby much more than I did the first two. I think I understand her stages better and am better able to cherish them for what they are instead of rushing her through them.
    Also, every time I read about Pokey's ice skating lessons, it reminds me of living in IA 20 years ago and writing a letter to the city council asking for an indoor rink. Apparently my letter made a difference! ;)
    Oh- and one more thing - do they make Pokey's shoes in adult sizes? Those would be perfect for BodyJam!! :)

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  11. Oh that note would have choked me up for sure too!! It's amazing how fast kids grow up!

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  12. This was so sweet! And it makes me want to enjoy even more my daughter while she is a toddler and still thinks I'm awesome! So beautiful!!

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  13. Oh, I love this post. I'm Natalie from Blog Frog and I was the one that started the conversation about what I miss from 'before kids'. Your post is the flip side of the coin and it makes me sad! Now I don't want them to grow up! :)

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  14. You have such a beautiful family! You are blessed. I know how you feel about getting older and it getting faster! I'm terrified!

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  15. Thanks for the reminder to savor the moments when my one year old will not let me straighten my hair without crying at my legs!
    Your kids are great and fun to read about. I love your blog!

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  16. What a beautiful post and your family is beautiful! I got teary eyed seeing that note. How precious! Yes, our kiddos does grow up too fast, I still find myself missing those moments when my son was a baby.

    PS: You have a great blog, love the header!

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  17. Thanks for stopping by my blog and your sweet comment...I so loved this...been through these stages five times, and will go through these stages another time. I cried when my four year old put on his shoes by himself the other day with, "I can do it myself."
    They grow so fast and each stage is so precious. Enjoy...enjoyed your blog...my post "My Mom is Ruining My Life" is also about these transitions.
    www.janettessage.blogspot.com

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  18. I love this post, Alicia. I will be there soon. Your family is adorable.

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  19. I think every Mom knows this exact feeling! I'm not allowed to come with a few feet of my kids when in the presence of their peers. I just chase them around making 'kiss-y' noises until they give in! =)

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  20. gosh, i must be a horrible mom, but i have never had this anxiety or fear as they have grown up. i am excited at every stage when they are able to do something on there own (means all my hard work has been paid off)!! like, when i walk away from something they have finally done on their own...i'm all "thank god, thought that might never happen!" and i can't wait til they've grown older, and get to know them a little more as a friend, i mean, i know parenting is NEVER really over, but will be wwwwaaaayyyyy easier after 20!! and finally, when they have their own kids, and look at me and say "i never knew/understood....i'm sorry", the heavens will open! haha

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  21. Thanks so much for all the feedback! You gals are the best. I've tried to respond to those who have their blog set up to go directly to their email. If you don't you should think about modifying that. It makes conversing easier. It's in your settings. Click on comments and add your email to comment notification box. Just a suggestion.

    To all moms, especially the ones with small children still: Make sure to soak it all up while you can. Don't take those precious years for granted.

    Lauren: not sure they come in your size, but that would be funny. They are from Payless.

    Natalie: thanks for starting the great discussion over at blogfrog.

    Melisssa: be patient with me. I'll get around to accepting that award soon. I'm working on my computer issues at the moment. Thanks. Your comment was great.

    Christine: your comment made me chuckle. I can just imagine. Reminds me of a Modern Family episode I just watched.

    Janette: I read your post- I can tell you have years of experience under your belt.

    Lisa: you are lucky you feel this way. Perhaps it is more so because of your challenging little one still at home. I am in a different stage of life I suppose and maybe if I knew Pokey was going to be my last I would have done a better job of cherishing each stage better.

    I'm just sending out a reminder to treasure the moments, even the crazy tantrum throwing, poopy blowout, sleep deprived sort of days...

    before you know it they are gone.

    I am trying to embrace this new phase of life as I look for the blessings that come with older children. Now I'm trying to focus on the perks of this new found phase... throwing up in the toilet, great trips without sippy cups and carseats, and oh- the sleep, the sleep is much better.

    Thanks again for stopping by. I appreciate every single comment!!

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  22. Hey Alicia... I'm loving your blog. Glad you stopped by and I'm now following you too... what a lovely post. It really made me smile and I am right there with you on so many points. WOW that NOTE! And she even srote SINCERELY! Pilte as well as responsible.
    What lovely children you have. (I have a soccer mad lad too!)
    Luv Simone
    xxx

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  23. Oh and by the way... it took me a second to figure out what you meant by Mastering "masks"... I thought maybe you meant I was good at showing only my best side (which is soooo far from the truth its not funny)... then i realised you meant PHOTOSHOP. Which could give you a clue that I don't have a clue about masks??
    I use layers to full effect and delete the bits on each layer that I don't want. I use the clipping tool and make use of blurry edges and use the opacity tool on the eraser to make sure the dges are nice. Thats all! xx

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  24. I laughed and almost cried reading this post. I don't know if reading my blog will help but maybe. My three girls are grown and we blog together. For you it may prove that even when they're grow and go, they're still with you. Or, it may leave you running for the hills when you see how they grow and no longer agree with everything you say and do. Either way, I enjoyed your blog and I love that you appreciate life's moments and don't let them pass unnoticed.

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  25. I had read this post the other day when you had linked it to facebook, and then yesterday there was a segment on the Today show where they had a segment with the author, Kelly Corrigan, who was promoting her new book, Lift. I instantly was drawn to her -she seemed like a really down-to-earth, intelligent, articulate, and inspiring woman! She was describing a similar phenomenon to what you described your post, so I immediately thought of you! I don't know if you've ever heard of the book, but if you're a reader, perhaps something to check out. Here's a link to the book on amazon - it's $9.74

    http://www.amazon.com/Lift-Kelly-Corrigan/dp/1401341241/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1272641473&sr=1-1

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  26. My 7 year old has the same shirt... but not the boots! Where'dya gettem? The note is ADORABLE. Breaks my heart for you!

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  27. Ah, I love this post! I'm still the center of the world for my 5 and 7 yo girls. I keep reminding myself it won't last forever. I can't wait to go eat lunch with my 5yo because she is still begging me too and I know that won't last!

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