OK y’all I am SO excited! Why? Because tomorrow morning we get to see our boy after being at camp for nearly a month! For the past 11 years (will be 12 years on Monday, August 10th) my entire world has revolved around this boy. And you know what? I’ve LOVED it. OK, so it was rough in the beginning but thinking about so many awesome times together I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Who would have thought up into my 20’s I vowed never to have kids?! Yep, I did. I never wanted the “trouble” and even more so I didn’t want to screw them up as much as I felt I had been screwed up by my parents. WELL…not only did I end up having one child BUT my b-i-g-g-e-s-t regret was that I couldn’t have more. I suppose that is what makes it so hard when I see my one and only baby growing up. I often think about our second pregnancy (when Judah was 5) and what it could have been like with a second child. Would it have made a difference in my pain of watching my children grow up? Oh lawd! Probably not! BUT at the very least it would have delayed my fear of having an empty nest. I suppose this is the Jewish momma syndrome?
Another thing…want to know what’s so funny about all of this? Well, I used to feel “those” moms who were so wrapped up in their kid’s lives schlepping them here and there were TOTALLY NUTS! Yes, I did! I felt they needed to get a life of their own and have their own identity separate from their kids. I often thought how they could just lose themselves in their children because after all those kids weren’t going to be around forever. Well of course I am eating my words because here I am…I AM one of those moms. AND know what? Between you and me I am OK with Judah being the center of my world. Of course his nagging, whining, not wanting to clean up after himself and everything that is frustrating with raising a kid is hard. LAWD those days are hard! BUT, the flip side is I’d NEVER trade any of those days for the days we laugh together and the days he wants a hug or wants me to spend time with him. Of course I love Carol and of course I value our time together. At the end of the day we are the ones spending the rest of our lives together and in time it will be JUST us. I understand that fact and I can’t wait for her to have her health back so we can complete some of our goals together. HOWEVER, there is something special in the connection you have with your child. I never believed that until now. I really am at awe every time I see my kid. The things he’s taught me about myself has been life altering. My heart smiles when I see this perfect balance of his two moms in him. l am so proud of him that I continuously say to myself, “WOW! He’s ours!? We are the lucky parents to get him!”
Listen, I know our goal as parents is to push our babies out of the nest so they can eventually fly on their own. I get that and I know we as parents have no choice in that matter. He will fly on his own. AND that folks is where I have a tough time. Each year Judah has a birthday, my heart aches knowing he’s one year closer to gaining his independence and wanting his own life (without his Momma being around on a daily basis to share). This summer Judah attending a camp far from home (four days shy of a month) has given me a taste of how my life will be when he’s off conquering the world (in a very short 6 years) and I hate the empty feeling. It’s funny because I was worried about Carol and how she’d deal with Judah being gone. BUT, I do think I’ve had the harder time. I suppose because it’s me who takes care of most of Judah’s daily needs. Bottom line though, I understand whether I like it or not, Judah will continue to grow up and he will fly out on his own. It will happen and I cannot stop it.
You know before Judah was born Carol said we were not going to put him in daycare. One issue was if we did (put him in daycare) one of our salaries would have gone straight into paying for it. Her point was if daycare gave us no extra income then why not just stay home with him and give him more one on one attention? Carol felt it was better for a child anyway to have one parent home with him. I as a daycare child and latchkey kid didn’t think it made a difference. Well, not until Carol pointed out some of my issues as partly because of being at daycare. And so because Carol had the better job, I was the parent to stay at home. When Judah was born I was 33 years old and had never been around babies for too long. To say it was hard for me would be an understatement. I cried a lot and I never wanted Carol to go to work. She was better at playing with Judah and keeping him happy. I was always nervous, impatient and I just didn’t know what to do. But then the tides began to turn and I started to change. OK, it helped when Judah could talk and tell me what he wanted. Even so, I actually started to enjoy being a stay at home mom. Judah made me laugh and always kept me smiling. He brought things out of me, softened me and I (secretly) loved it. This kid of mine had an act for opening me up and showing me another way of life. I NEVER EVER would have thought he would turn my world around.
AND SO, here I am no longer 33 and Judah certainly no longer a baby. It’s August 5th, 2015 and never in a million years would I have thought I’d be eagerly waiting to pick him up from camp. I swore when I was a counselor that I would NEVER be one of “those” parents. AND YET, I HAVE become one of “those” parents. And you know what? I’m OK with that. Yes, I am. In fact I’ll proudly wear that t-shirt. Listen, I’m sure we’ll notice how much Judah has grown since we last saw him nearly a month ago…grown not just in height but in so many other ways. And even though in four days our son will be 12, entering 6th grade and soon to be bar mitzvah’d NONE of that will matter tomorrow morning. NOPE, won’t matter at all… because when I see my kid, I will still see MY baby who I have missed. AND I will hug him and squeeze him and make him my very own…again.