Proud … 

If I had to describe this past school year I would describe it as CHALLENGING. It started off as any other year had … and then craziness ensued. Getting sick is one of the most selfish things I could have ever done to my kids, my family and my friends. It derailed all of us.

Do I really believe it was my fault?

No. Of course not. But I still feel a tremendous sense of guilt especially when it comes to my kids. They needed me and there were days when I could hardly lift my head. My heart broke each time I couldn’t do something for them. I was angry when they had to struggle without me. They had to step it up and do so much on their own. Things that I normally would do for them or with them. They missed out on our talks. Moments that they used to deflate from their day or share their excitements. They handled stress and problems without me. Again. It broke me.

Today my son George graduates from high school. Goodness I love this kid of mine! He is gentle, kind, compassionate and brilliant. And throughout this past school year he grew into so much more. He matured naturally but also because he had to. He didn’t fight it. He never acted out. He wasn’t bitter. He just went with it. He helped so much. He took on so much. And he accomplished so much. As painful (and wonderful) as it is to admit this, my baby boy grew up in what seems like a few short months. He had to.

Today feels surreal. I want to cry because it’s over and cry from a sense of relief. This was a tough school year but George did it. He finished despite the curve balls life threw at us. And he somehow managed to thrive.

If we are lucky, as parents, sometimes we get a glimpse of reassurance that our kids are READY to take on the world. They get it. They can do this. Those moments when we see clearly that they are exactly what God meant them to be in this time and in this place. I gratefully had many of these moments this school year. They came as a result of time and nature but also out of pain and need. I don’t believe anything happens by chance so I cannot look back on this school year bitterly. All the events that unfolded have delivered us to this day. My baby boy’s graduation day. He got here precisely how he needed to and in a way that has left him better and more capable. What an amazing young man he has become. Indeed.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are proud!!!

It’s surreal … 

Today is George’s last day of high school classes. Forever. He graduates next Wednesday. Watching him leave the house this morning filled my heart with all sorts of emotions and flooded my mind with memories. How is this possible? Where did my baby boy go? It seems like just yesterday that I found out I was pregnant with him. That moment, still so vivid. And here we are … I can’t believe it.

Well, I hope you all have a day that seems surreal!!!

Feeling nostalgic …

Sid took an early train to see her boyfriend this morning. I drove her to the train station. On my way back I opted for a different route home. I took me by California State University, Fullerton. My alma mater. One of them anyway. I didn’t realize it but this is graduation weekend. Despite being early there were many people arriving. Some walking. Many in their caps and gowns. It really took me back. I remember my graduation days from both Fullerton and California State University, Long Beach like they were yesterday. Such great days, filled with so much excitement, reflection and hope! I know I’m feeling more emotional these days with George’s high school graduation just around the corner. So I’ll just dismiss my crying watching perfect strangers cross the street.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you feel nostalgic!!!

I cried my eyes out …

I booked the restaurant for George’s graduation party.

I bought decorations for George’s graduation party.

I bought a dress for George’s graduation ceremony and party.

I looked through dorm room supply catalogs.

BIG SIGH.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you don’t cry your eyes out!!!

Better planning …

Yesterday morning before school we were discussing how it was already the first day of May. WOW! Then G3 told me that this would be his last full month of high school. WOW, WOW! Within about 8 seconds I went from being super excited for him to a tearful over-emotional mom. Overwhelmed, I sat there trying to figure out how my baby boy turned into a young man who was ready to take on the world, in what feels like, the blink of an eye. Oh yes, I was emotional. Again.

I am at the end of my marathon training schedule. In less than one month I hope to be standing on a start line I never though I’d make it to. It’s been a journey, to say the least.

At the end of a marathon training is something called “a taper”. It’s when your running schedule goes from high to low. From 20-mile long runs to 8-9 mile long runs. It’s a huge difference. There’s a science to all of it that I don’t completely understand, yet I trust it. In simple terms, it’s the time period when your muscles heal and strengthen so that you can be in the best shape possible for race day. Well, that’s the idea anyway. Sounds pleasant, doesn’t it? NOPE. At least not for me.

I’d bet that if you asked most distance runners their opinion of THE TAPER you would get some pretty negative responses. Paranoia of injury increases. Patience is at an all time low. And moods are like a yo-yo. Fun stuff to be around … if you like misery!

I bring all this up because this morning I realized that I will be tapering just as I am watching my son go through his last full month of high school. Oh dear lord in Heaven. What was I thinking? Clearly, I wasn’t. 

Well, I hope you all have a day where you do some better planning!!!

Living lovingly in denial …

I absolutely love having all of my kids at home. The laughter and conversations. The loudness and busyness. Listening to them “catch up” with each other. I love it ALL! Being a parent who was only child I wanted so much so to have a home filled with lots of children. I have been blessed to live that dream.

This may sound silly, but as my kids where growing up it never occurred to me how much it would affect me when they left home to go to college. At minimum, I WAY underestimated those feelings. It has been terribly hard to be so far away from Sidney. I miss her very much when she is gone. And the worry! Let’s not even discuss THAT one! YIKES!

Anyway, I remember when Sid’s second semester of her senior year rolled around, my emotions where similar to that of a roller coaster on steroids. I was utterly shocked at myself. Even I didn’t know it could be THAT emotional, HA! And now, with G3 just a few weeks shy of graduating, I have been overwhelmed with all the same emotions. The same feelings of loss and elation all over again. I’m tearful one minute and excited the next. How is this possible?!?! Isn’t this process supposed to get easier?!?! Because it’s not, at least not for me. And that’s OK. These feelings remind me of just how blessed I am to love so deeply these wonderful beings I get to call my children. I am thankful that our close bonds have made these milestones emotionally charged. Love really does crazy things with your heart. I have written before, that as painful as this growing-up process is, I wouldn’t want it any other way. I have found no greater joy than loving my children and watching them plan to leave home to chase their dreams. It truly is beautiful.

I am so thankful that we are all together again. I know it’s not going to last very long. But for now, for the next few months while they are all home, I’m going to pretend that I don’t know that times like these will become fewer and farther between. I’m going to love them like always and relish in the joy I feel just being their mom … appreciating every precious second.

Well, I hope you all have day where you live lovingly in denial!!!

Happy to have my heart ripped out …

Yesterday we visited Sonoma State University. G3 was accepted there a few weeks ago. He still is undecided on which university he wants to attend and this is all part of the process to help him decide. I think the campus is lovely. In this mom’s opinion, the dorms couldn’t be more perfect for him. And the whole feel of the university just felt right to me. But but other than contributing a little parental guidance and my knowledge and familiarity with campus life, I am allowing him to make this very adult decision. As hard as it is to admit, G3 is almost an adult now. He’s a smart, level headed young man. I know his future is bright no matter where he ends up studying. As much as I want to, I don’t need to “hand hold” him on this one. He’s got this. And it makes me both incredibly proud … and sad. I feel all the parental “feels”.

“Where has time gone?”

“I want to be mama bear and protect my son … FOREVER!”

“I don’t want him to leave!”

But then there is also the part of me that cannot think of any greater joy than watching my children follow their dreams. I have been down this road before with Sidney. It is an all too familiar emotional roller coaster that is both beautiful and horrible all at the same time! Yet as painful as it can be watching this all go down, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Well, I hope you call have a day where you are happy to have your heart ripped out!!!