Late-in-life motherhood caught me unawares.
I was 41. The oh-so-busy mom of three teenagers.
And then I found out I was pregnant.
Since that day--May 2, 2000--I've felt like I'm living life in reverse and fast forward as I straddle the parenting spectrum.
I still recall waving goodbye to my 17-year-old son Josh as he left for college--as I held my six-month-old baby daughter Christa in my arms.
I remember celebrating my daughter Amy's graduation from high school--knowing that Christa would start kindergarten three months later.
My daughter Katie Beth moved out on her own--and I sat on my bed with Christa. We both cried.
Josh fell in love and got married--and Christa escorted him to the front of the decorated gazebo during the outdoor ceremony in Colorado.
I've experienced all these "growing up" moments with my three older children in the company of my caboose kiddo. Her presence has made the moments all the sweeter--and sometimes all the more poignant.
Like the moment-to-be I'm facing in six days.
My daughter Amy leaves for a 9 month mission trip to Nicaragua.
It's what I call a 'wonderful-horrible' moment.
It's wonderful because I know it's the next right thing for her.
And it's horrible because I can already feel in my heart how much I am going to miss her.
And as I make my way through this moment, I'm holding the hand of my 7-year-old daughter and helping her through the emotions too.
She's going to miss her big sister.
She doesn't want her to go.
I understand. I understand.
And I'm trying to help her understand.
That's part of straddling the parenting spectrum.
It's not just the emotional and physical exhaustion of raising toddlers, teens and twentysomethings all at the same time.
It's living life out loud--loving your family with your whole heart--and holding on to each other through all the moments--wonderful, horrible--and everything in between.
Labels: straddling the parenting spectrum