Sunday, August 7, 2011

Reality set in today.

I had one of those "lightning bulb" moments today. No brilliant ideas, no major epiphanies warranting major life-altering risks, but I was involved in a series of conversations today that made me realize that Pete and I are at that really odd point in our life together where we are reaping the consequences of our decision to reverse his vasectomy. In two hours' time, I helped my daughter-in-law to be finalize some frazzling and stressful plans for her wedding to my son this coming Saturday, and then learned that my oldest daughter has less than a month left here with us in Alabama before she "officially" leaves to join her husband following his graduation from Army advanced training.

By our 22nd wedding anniversary, Pete and I will have two married children, living in two different states, with our home somewhere in between. Our original little-family will cease to exist. No longer will we be able to expect to spend holidays with our son and oldest daughter. We now have to share. Don't get me wrong; I'm not sad about this in the slightest; this is exactly what we wanted for both of our children. We knew that we only get to hold on to them until they reach adulthood. We knew that all the mistakes we made as *really* young parents would be mistakes they would likely struggle with during their adolescence ... and they did. They rebelled; they tested limits; they looked to the world for things that the world ultimately could never give them. But now, today as we had real, adult conversations with our real-adult children, we realized we have reached the end of an era.

And it hit me like a brick ...

If we hadn't had that vasectomy reversal done, if we hadn't chosen to put our family size into God's hands, our hands-on parenting job would be over. Our nest would be empty! We would be "free" to do whatever we wanted to do. In all honesty, THAT was what made me sad. Not that I am tied down to these young girls for sixteen more years, but that our lives would be so much less interesting had we never been blessed with them! It may be odd to consider, but I couldn't help thinking that living "for me" would be so boring that I would drive myself batty! Sure, things would be calmer now; I could sleep in, garden to my heart's content, spend HOURS on the internet, keep a clean house ...

No thanks. I like where we are now. I like knowing that while Pete is away for his three-week business trips, I have five little someones keeping my mind and body busy all day, every day. I like the noise; I like the activity.

I am only 38 years old; I'm too young to live the life of a "retired" stay-at-home mom. Maybe after Kasey has graduated and all of the little girls have moved on to whatever God has planned for each of them, maybe THEN I'll be ready to sit back and quilt, follow Pete around the globe and sit in a hotel room for days on end while he works. Not now.

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