It has been said that our goal as mothers is to make ourselves obsolete. I've come to the realization in the past few days that I am starting to be phased out. Both of my children will be in school this year. I know for many parents, their children are away from long periods of time from when they are babies, but I have spent the past six years caring for these two little people, and now they don't need me in the same way anymore. They are ready to make their way in the world. Oh, I realize that it isn't like they are leaving for college, but still, it hurts a little.
I was at our local park this morning with the boys. There was a mom there with two little boys of her own - one was age 2 and her baby was 7 weeks old. David and Isaac latched on to her and started regaling her with stories. Thankfully, she was kind and patient with them - the poor sleep-deprived woman probably hadn't had that much conversation in days! Still, as I looked at her own small children, I couldn't believe that it has been so long since mine were that size. Each day as you go through it seems long enough. There have certainly been days in the past few years that I prayed for bedtime. And yet, looking back, it has all gone by in the blink of an eye. All those days of changing and feeding babies, and terrible twos, and sleepless nights, and temper tantrums, and time-outs that I thought would never end are gone. Now I have two coherent, intelligent (at least most of the time) school-age boys who I like to be around most of the time. Oh, they still have their moments, and I know they still have a lot of growing up to do, and me, a lot of parenting to do. Actually, according to my mother, that job never actually ends! But, it is different now - a different stage, a different role. And it takes some getting used to.