My youngest child, Peter, got off the bus Friday for the very last time as a kindergartner. With that last jump off the bus went a little more of my heart. My children are growing so quickly, I can barely catch my breath.
I know the calender says the year starts in January and ends in December, but for moms, the year really starts in September and ends in June. Summer is just a holding pattern to get us ready for a new year of adventures.
This school year was a biggie for us. Our eldest,Tom, started middle school, Peter started kindergarten, and I started this blog. Lizzy being in second grade, though exciting for her, paled in comparison to the big changes and excitement of kindergarten, middle school, and our dishwasher getting its own website.
Tom looks much more like a teenager now. Very different from the nervous boy that started the sixth grade in September. I am thrilled that this year he actually got to see the good grades that have eluded him in the past even though he has always worked so hard.
He is getting an attitude that is so reminiscent of my own at that age that I have a new found respect for my parents. Whatever issues I may have had with their parenting, it now pales to the pure gratitude and complete awe that they managed to not eat me when I was a teenager.
I miss the little boy who would ask me to dry his tears before I left him at preschool or who would say I was the prettiest mommy in the whole world. I have been replaced by not one, but by several girls who have won his heart.
I am in awe of his confidence and his ease with people. He walks in a room and just owns it. And even though there are times when I wonder if we will make it past 12, never mind the official teen years, he has one of the kindest hearts I have ever met. I truly look forward to the man he is becoming. I simply adore him.
Peter will forever be my baby. Of my three children, Peter is the one who never hesitated to leave me. When he was two and going to nursery school, he only cried when I picked him up to take him home.
For the last few months, the child who could not get away fast enough for an adventure has started to want more kisses and cuddles from mommy. It's as if he knows the big world is out there, ready for him, and he wants to stay my baby for just a bit longer.
I am secretly thrilled.
Lizzy started the school year with the declaration that her teachers "loved her very much" and she returned that love by having one of her best years ever. Lizzy is becoming such a little lady, and I am constantly being reminded that my beautiful daughter with special needs is really writing her own wonderful happy ending each day.
This year, because Peter was in school for the whole day, I found I had a minute to breathe. This was the year I both was looking forward to and dreaded. Who was I if not a mom to little kids?
Turns out I'm a mommy blogger.
My plans of becoming the perfect homemaker, complete with a beautifully kept house, home-baked bread, and a house filled with crafts that I finally had the time to learn didn't turn out the way I planned.
I blame the kids' schools for this.Now that they are paperless I had to finally break down and get my own email address.
It started out so innocently. One day I stumbled on a parenting site and replied to a post. I got a "like" response and I was hooked.
With my husband and my friend Maria to encourage me, I started to do something I had always wanted to do, write. Suddenly all the stories that have been inside me these last few years started to come out and take form on the computer screen.
For years doctors, teachers, and other parents have suggested that I share my experiences of raising children with a range of different issues. I took their suggestions seriously, but actually writing it down and hitting publish was different. Would anyone really want to read about us?
My blog was coming alive at the same exact time the brand new dishwasher we had just bought started to light up like a Christmas tree.
Our silly machine would make a range of noises at all hours of the day and night for no apparent reason. After the very nice repairman had already made his first of four visits to our house I found myself on the phone with the repair center yet again. They wanted to know what was wrong with our brand spanking (and not inexpensive) dishwasher. I said, "It's possessed."
I woke Joe up one night listening to the incessant beeping of the machine that by now was identified by several choice words. "What if I call my blog 'My dishwasher's possessed?'"
He laughed and said, "That works."
From the first essay I wrote in November on Momster.com to starting the site here in January, I have been welcomed by the blogging community. The support and encouragement has been amazing. I have found a piece of myself that I didn't even know existed.
The kids have grown and changed this year. But so have I. My blog has opened up a wonderful chapter that I feel is only starting to reveal itself to me. I have no idea where it will bring me, but I happily sign on for the adventure.
My kids' childhood seems to be going as fast as my own did. All I do is blink and another year is gone. Gratefully, I now have my possessed dishwasher to document all our crazy, happy, and trying times together.