Opinion: Don’t blink, dear mamas

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Commentary by Amy Sorrells

I lost my mind at Target the other day.

The giant gray shipping containers lined up outside the store were my first indication something was up. Ten minutes later, after getting lost looking for the shoe department in the new store Iayout, I left distraught and grieving the store I could previously shop blindfolded.

I suffered a similar fate in the refrigerated section of Meijer last fall. The fruit smoothies stocked there are a staple of our oldest son’s diet, and I crumpled in tears when I realized I didn’t have to buy them anymore since he was newly away at college.

May is upon us, and graduation for many, including our second son. I wish I could say the process is easier the second time around, but I feel just as lost as ever. Oh, I knew my kids were going to grow up. It’s just that I’m not quite sure how to go about life without them.

Turns out, it’s hard to know what to do with myself after two decades of color-coordinating school calendars, blasting kids out of bed in the morning, spending hours in carpool lines and pediatrician offices and on sidelines and battling over personal electronic devices, making sure ears are clean, deodorant is applied, teeth are brushed, homework’s done, noses are wiped, tears are dried, hands are held, heads are kissed and prayers are said.

We have a couple of years before our youngest graduates, and to be sure, we’ll have weekends and summers and holidays with the older kids. But life will never be the same.

Years ago, a mom with older children told me I would someday wish again for the days of knee-high laundry piles, big grocery bills and the overwhelming daze of raising children.

I’m that mom with older children now.

Listen, dear mamas, when I say don’t blink.

Love them well, and don’t blink.

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