There are so many ways that we mark our journeys in life. Some by the calendar, some by accomplishments, some by seemingly arbitrary things. I remember in high school my goal was to grow my hair to my breasts. Insanely important, this was to me. I remember the day I realized I reached my goal, I came out of the bathroom in glee and announced, 'My hair can touch my boobs!' I was generally very private, and didn't speak that way, but, I felt I could make an exception because, come on! I did it!
I like to think my goals a little loftier these days.
I do like milestones. I am a checklist kinda gal, and wouldn't think of not adding something to the list just to cross if off. I loved report cards, I got mad a college teachers if they took too long to return my assignment, and don't even get me started about the profs who didn't bother writing anything other than A on the paper. I wanted praise and critique throughout the paper! I am big on assessment!
I have four weeks each school year set aside purely for assessment. Not that I wait a whole nine weeks to check my progress in teaching my kids! I like December and January because it is a time to look back and forward to see goal reached and to set new ones. I like April because I get to reflect on the years of my firstborn. May and June mark the end of the school year, and ordering the curriculum to come. August --ooh! time to get the curriculum in order, line up the books, make the lists!
Well, October is a special month for me, too. Some significant milestones have happened this month in the last mumblemumble-teen years. We moved three Octobers (in a row!). And, most important in the scheme of things, Madi was born in October. This is a natural time of reflection for me. I get to remember little fingers... little toes... constant nursing... little teeth... oh! Not all memories are painless!
My girl is turning 8. My baby is turning 8. *sigh* She is quite a young lady. She loves to craft and dance and get dressed up. She is earnest and silly and strong. Truth be told, the youngest in our family can give every last one of us a run for our money in a wrestling match--which she would never turn down. She is a special young thing growing into a remarkable older thing and I am so divided in my feelings about it all.
I am still a momma of babies, but I look around and there are no babies to be seen. How did that happen? I remember moms of older kids saying things that I am thinking, and feeling that I would never be there. I would know to cherish the young years so that the old years would come with no regrets. They come so fast. I am still a momma of babies. I just know it.
The other day at dance I was sitting next to Carla with her baby. I looked down to see a colorful plastic butterfly for teething babies. I almost asked, 'oh! Is that mine? I'd wondered where it went!' Hello!! How can time pass so differently for me than it does for my kids?
I have a secret. I used to say October was a special month because every October something big happened--a milestone. Truth is, none have really been reached in the last too many years. I mean, sure, we moved other friends in October, but that really isn't the same thing as moving, buying a house, having a baby... But for me, I am still there. These last years are like one. It can't really be eight Octobers that I had a baby, can it?