We looked at each other. Dave and I.

“When did this get so hard?”

We just kind of sat there. In little chairs. Our knees bent up uncomfortably. Dressed up in our date night bests.

Tonight we have a babysitter! And a babysitter means dinner and drinks and a tipsy stroll down for ice cream. Can I get an AMEN!?

It’s always a night full of questionable behavior and deep breaths and (most importantly) a break from little hands and hearts that need so very much. All. The. Time. Don’t get me wrong, I love it almost always, but sometimes it’s crucial to put on my big girl shoes and pretend I’ve still got it.

But on this night. Before the “festivities”. We’re here. In a little classroom, in little chairs. Reeling in the seriousness that is parenting. It’s parent / teacher conferences. And overall it went great. Pride for most of it (my smart boy!). And some frustration (seriously Brooks, is it that hard to obey the first time!) But then a deep sadness for some of the things this oldest boy of mine now carries on his shoulders.

And I want to go on. But I can’t. This boy of mine is getting older. And this blog is getting harder. Because while sometimes he still feels like that little baby I remember falling in love with over and over again with each cuddle into my neck. He is now mostly a boy. A kid. An adult? (I don’t know anymore. His mood sometimes would suggest a full on teenager.) And to write out the struggles of a boy old enough to open my laptop and read them himself, feels strange — inappropriate even.

It was all kinds of fun and games raising my babies. And, in hindsight, I loved that stage. The one where you stay up nights paralyzed in fear that they might stop breathing. Where you literally are learning how to handle the love of something so deeply. Where the very thought of it somehow slipping through your fingers leaves you shaking and broken. It was my first taste of parenting. Of the bliss. Of the difficulty. Of learning what to do with that raw and real reality that this little life in front of you is your new life.

I wrote about it. All of it. The heart beats against my own. Those first tastes of peas to that first meeting with an early intervention therapist. I documented it. First breaths. First meeting of siblings. First days of preschool. First asthma treatments. It’s all here on this blog. It’s how I work through my life. My feelings.

But now it’s different. And it’s hard to blog about.

And with that..parenting has gotten kind of lonely over here. Because I am no longer in the phase where this is the place to share what I am going through with missed milestones and making memories. It was such a place to find community in the “parenting”. But things have quickly gone from…

“We’re all in this together!”

to well… it’s quiet here. And I miss it. And I kind of feel alone in it. Even though I know I am not. We just don’t talk about it anymore.

But, I see you, momma, dropping your kid off in car line whispering, “no yellow card today” with a kiss goodbye. I see you working on spelling or reading or math. I see you, momma, reminding your girl to be kind to others. Or your boy to run on his toes. Or obey the first time. And I am reminded that we ARE “all in this together.” We just don’t put it all out there the way we did when they were babies. We don’t own their successes like so many did their breast-fed babies and early walkers. Because those things were achieved because of our own successes as mothers. (or lack there of in my case) And the failures of speech delays and missed nap times seemed so innocent and fixable. And somehow by putting it out there a whole community of support was born to the tune of

“You’ve got this!”

My mom likes to equate the baby phase to the pattern making stage of sewing. Where you get to pick a pattern, and cut the fabric, and sew the dress. There is this excitement to the beginning of making something.

But now. I am in the “sewing the zipper in and hemming the bottom”stage. The part that is well…not as fun and feels like work some times. There’s a lot of dress makers out there that have tons of dresses hanging in this stage. Waiting to be finished.

My mom likes to remind me that you can’t wear the dress until you’ve done those things.

So here I am. Actually parenting. And I find myself surprised with just how hard it really is and how much I still genuinely love it. And I am trying to find a way to blog about the less flashy stuff — the zippers and the hems. Because I still so desperately need to hear and need to say to you,

“Me too momma. Me too!”

Because I know you’re out there and you should know I am here too.

I think this is the part of my writing where I say something deep. I can’t remember. It’s been a while since I blogged. So.. um… closing remarks.

thinking. 

thinking. 

Got it!

“Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t lose.”

Yep. That will work. ;)

It was that or

“I’m back bitches!”

Ciao! Girl