At some point in time in the last five years, my kids grew up. Really grew up. As 44 looms on the horizon, I've become the mom of one adult and one near-adult. How? When? Why? I don't know.
It seems like just yesterday we were going to youth soccer games and t-ball games, laying on the floor building Lego's houses and garages, coloring Power Ranger books, assembling 500 piece puzzles and learning to ride bikes without training wheels.
As the years progressed, soccer was overrun by high school and college football, t-ball games turned into Little League, then freshman, JV and Varsity level games, Lego's morphed into CAD designs at school, coloring turned into college level Art classes with trips to Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison art museums and puzzles turning into running for a class office position. Bikes are a thing of the past and have been replaced with four wheel drive trucks and snowmobiles that go 80 mph comfortably on the lakes, up to 110 mph when the ambition strikes, and jumps that end up breaking handlebar risers.
My husband and I joke that we have no idea what we will talk about after our youngest leaves for college. We are involved in our kids lives to the fullest extent. We join clubs, we help run programs, we started a traveling baseball team just to get our youngest some greater exposure. We spend hours after work running around to practices; helping run the clock and announcing plays at the games, and hours on the field taking action shots of throwers in track, baseball and football players. I honestly have no idea on the number of hours I've spent on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights downloading, editing and uploading hundreds of pictures to my Facebook page.
Two years ago when our oldest went away to college, we traveled on Saturday's. We went to nine of twelve football games just on the off chance he'd get in to play. That same year, our Thursday nights were spent at the football fields in the Greater Metro area, watching our youngest play; then we did the same thing on Friday nights watching every other kid play. This past season we went to Thursday and Friday night games to watch our youngest play, and traveled to eight of ten games. This coming season we assume we'll be going to Friday night games, and will travel to ten of ten college games (hopefully more!) with the furthest being a seven hour drive. That seven hour drive will be done after a Friday night game. Four and half on Friday night leading into Saturday morning to our cabin; the rest done in the morning Saturday to make the 1 pm start.
As my oldest finishes his second year of college and my youngest finishes his second year of high school, I know for certain I wouldn't change anything. I love being involved in their lives. It feels good to get random texts during the day, or pictures or jokes that brighten my day.
I know for certain that my husband is of the same mindset. Our kids are our world. As they grow up, I will certainly soak up every minute I can get and will make sure that I continue to encourage good memories, even if it means sending a box of goodies to college to make my oldest smile, kiss my youngest good morning and good night every day, and will attend every track meet, baseball and football game without reservation.