Wednesday, April 03, 2013

5 Minute Memoir: Sentimentality

For years I have chafed at the poems, articles, and various confessionals written by parents who can't seem to cope with the fact that their children have grown up.  Just the other day I heard a poetry recitation on this subject that left me feeling like this is yet another area where a mother of many is different from others.  While a mother of two children that are just a few years apart will likely experience a sudden empty nest and a long wait until the chicks return to the nest with spouses and children of their own, the mother with six or eight children, spanning 10 or 14 years will not.  For this mother, one is an adult, employed, dealing with life's big questions and challenges, plus there are teenagers, pre-teens, and then little ones who still need help learning to read and do their math.  By the time the youngest one has flown the nest, I'll have children in their 30s.  I certainly do not expect to have an empty nest syndrome at any point in the next many decades, thanks to this.

Also, having had so many children, I feel like I have done every stage A Lot.  I do not cry over leaving the stages.  I did each one so many times and for so long that I have paid all my dues and don't have a whole lot of care when we move out of them.  Onward and upward!  Enjoy where they are at and don't be sad about what is done.

But every so often, like today when my daughter turns 17, and yesterday when my preemie turned 13, I get a little sentimental.  I think the one thing that does grab at my heart is when I think of them as little tykes, and although they have been transformed into older, bigger people, it feels like a loss.  It feels like that little cuddly stinker has dissolved into thin air.  I will admit, I get teary thinking about it.

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